Lawson Inc. on Wednesday became the first convenience store chain to open an outlet in a bank when it launched a store in a Tokyo branch of Hokuriku Bank, a Toyama-based regional.

Lawson is also the first nonfinancial firm to undertake limited banking operations, doing so through its Loppi multifunctional computer terminals.

“This is a totally new concept. We believe our collaboration will significantly promote convenience for customers on each side,” Lawson President Takeshi Niinami said at the launch of the Nihonbashi district outlet.

Banking operations undertaken by Lawson include receiving applications for credit-card and auto loans.

Your cash at all hours

Kyodo News UFJ Bank plans to start operating 24-hour automated teller machines in the Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka metropolitan areas in late September, becoming the first major Japanese bank to do so.

The core unit of UFJ Holdings Inc. and one of the nation’s four major banks hopes the round-the-clock ATM service will boost earnings by attracting more customers, bank officials said Wednesday.

UFJ Bank operates about 6,000 ATMs nationwide, with the new service applying to some 2,000 machines installed at manned branches in the three urban areas, they said.

The bank will expand the round-the-clock ATM service areas if it is well received, the officials said.

UFJ Bank now runs ATMs on a 24-hour basis at only 11 branches in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Osaka prefectures. The service has turned out to be popular.

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