Foreigners in Japan will soon find an added convenience in a Seven-Eleven store here, thanks to banking services featuring a "mini-branch" staffed by multilingual customer service representatives.
It will be the first time the bank has operated a branch inside a "conbini" (convenience store).
Seven Bank Ltd., a banking utility managed by the same company that runs Seven-Eleven Japan Co., the operator of the convenience store, will open the branch on Jan. 30 in a Seven-Eleven in front of Fukuoka's Hakata Station. Banking services will be available daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and feature three representatives that can speak a variety of languages, including English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.
Seven Bank expects the service to be popular with expats, foreign employees working in Japan and students from overseas.
Customers will be able to open a bank account or sign up for a service at the mini-branch that will offer them a quick and convenient way to wire money back to their home countries.
The bank plans to promote the service to companies in the Kyushu and Chugoku regions of western Japan that employ a large number of foreign workers.
With transfer charges lower than most major Japanese banks, Seven Bank is currently expanding its international wire transfer business.
Accounts at Seven Bank can be set up on the bank's website or by submitting documents through postal mail, but because language often proves to be a barrier, the bank has set up small branches in areas with large populations of foreigners.
In central and eastern Japan, there are six Seven Banks with representatives assigned inside such locations as the Ito-Yokado Co. supermarket chain.