Posts Tagged ‘Seven-Eleven’

Still a plus for Seven-Eleven

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

"Welcome to Japan," but you still have to pay the ¥210 handling charge

“Welcome to Japan,” but you still have to pay the ¥210 handling charge

Most residents of Japan didn’t notice it at the time, but if you were a foreign tourist here in the summer of 2007, Seven & I Holdings made it much easier to travel the country by allowing its Seven Bank ATMs to accept bank cards and credit cards from overseas.

Networks like VISA’s Plus and MasterCard’s Cirrus systems let travelers access bank ATMs all over the world, but  Japanese banks never joined these systems, and until Japan’s post offices signed up earlier this decade, there were very few ways for foreign tourists in Japan to get emergency cash, save for foreign exchange kiosks in airports, some machines run by credit-card companies and placed in or near department stores, and maybe at the front desks of the larger hotels. You could, of course, always go to a teller window at a bank, but many banks outside the larger cities weren’t equipped to handle such transactions as recently as the late ’90s. Anyone who has tried to buy a money order or cut a cashier’s check in foreign currency, even in Tokyo, knows what a pain in the neck it can be.

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