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Sorry I didn't see the piece on CNBC.

Ace's major competition is from Mr. Payroll, which is a subsidiary of Fort Worth pawn-shop chain Cash America International Inc.

As far as the banks wanting a piece of the business. The answer is yes! But it doesn't stop at banks.

In a recent article from the Texas Journal of the WSJ written by Jeff Opdyke. Southland Corp. (7-eleven) is testing an automated financial service center at it's 36 Austin locations. Two new automated terminals are replacing the ATM machines at each location. Southland is looking for an opportunity to co-brand with a major bank. Some of the technology is from NCR.

The article goes on to say that "Ace Cash executives are closely watching 7-eleven's moves in Austin, where Ace has 12 stores. But they say they don't feel threatened. Don Neustadt, Ace's chief executive officer, points out that 7-eleven tried once before and failed to make a go of offering check-cashing services from manned kiosks, and that Ace itself sponsored check-cashing centers inside Stop-N-Go stores in the late 1980's. "But you don't see us in there anymore because the demand in that environment just hasn't proved to be very strong" Neustadt said. "We've found that customers want the human relations.""

Something else to note. Cash America is also in the development stage of automated check-cashing technology.

Let me just add, I am a stockholder of Ace and will be watching these developments closely!

Fool On


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