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IRVINE, Calif. -- Grocery members of the Mexican American Grocer's Association (MAGA) will be able to host new financial service kiosks in their 120,000 stores as the result of a newly signed agreement between technology solutions development firm Competisys and Morgan Beaumont, Inc., a premier technology solution provider to the stored value and prepaid card market and owner of the SIRE Network.
Under the agreement, MBI will provide prepaid cards from Discover Network, and other financial services, through a kiosk network being deployed by Competisys at MAGA members' stores nationwide.
MAGA-affiliated stores that participate in the Competisys program will become part of the SIRE Network, and will be equipped with advanced technology financial services kiosks being acquired by Competisys from King Products and Solutions, Inc. With the kiosks, customers can take advantage of an array of financial services designed to appeal to unbanked or underbanked consumers.
"We will be introducing the prepaid cards via MAGA's channel of 120,000 grocery stores, where the Competisys self service kiosks will be hosted," said William Prentice, CEO of Competisys. "The self-service kiosks will also be SIRE Network locations, providing a convenient and secure alternative for conducting financial transactions.
"An estimated one-third of U.S.-born Hispanic residents, and more than half of all Mexican immigrants, lack bank accounts," Prentice said. "This agreement will enable us to provide an important, underserved market with financial tools designed specifically for their purchasing and payment needs.
"We are projecting that we will be servicing the financial needs of several million consumers in the next three to five years," Prentice added.
"For far too long the contribution of Hispanic immigrants to the United States economy has been diminished by the hidden costs of being confined to the underground or cash economy," said Steve Soto, CEO of MAGA. "The Banco el Mago suite of financial services that MBI will operate on the Competisys kiosks will provide these customers with the means to reduce their costs and participate fully in the mainstream financial and economic life of this nation."
MAGA, who is also working with leading immigration rights organizations such as La Raza and the Greenlining Institute, will also oversee the introduction of immigration services on the Competisys kiosks, which will include access to information on legislation relating to immigration, and the means to participate in any amnesty, guest-worker, or citizenship application process that emerges from the current immigration reform debate.
"Customers of MAGA stores who are not comfortable in a traditional banking environment are also not going to be comfortable visiting the local federal offices to obtain this information, so we will provide the access they need," said Soto.