Check cashing machines at Alpha Beta

Uh...California.

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runchadrun
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Check cashing machines at Alpha Beta

Post by runchadrun » 14 Feb 2006 09:28

I posted this a while back on the old forum...

Alpha Beta had machines that would approve your check before you got to the checkout. This was in the 80s (maybe earlier) before the days of ATM cards and when people typically wrote checks for cash back.

I remember that they were green and black, about the size of a large microwave. Each store had 1 or 2 of the machines, usually next to the vending machines that sold you soda in a cup. You got a card from Alpha Beta and, before you got to the checkout, you inserted the card and your check into the machine. You told it how much cash back you wanted, it did its thing, and printed the approval (and endorsement) on the back of the check.

I watched my mom use it all the time though they were gone by the time I was doing grocery shopping on my own since ATM cards had become the standard (though I still get behind people who insist on writing checks...)

Super S
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Post by Super S » 19 Feb 2006 00:15

most modern cash registers have the ability to approve checks electronically as well by reading the numbers off the check. Call me old fashioned but I actually prefer checks to debit cards.

grocerywatcher66

Post by grocerywatcher66 » 22 Feb 2006 17:03

The Atlanta area in the late 80's had Honest Face check approval machines in Kroger and KMart. I don't recall them in Winn-Dixie, Cub, Big Star, A&P, Food Giant, Richway, and Zayre. They were around for 4-5 years and then gone.

Today most retailers use SCAN(Shared Check Authorization Network) or Telecheck and a few others cehck approval services. Most SCAN retailers access the network through their POS system. These systems are history based rather than realtime, meaning they base their approval or decline on past history, since they don't directly tap into the bank account and approve or decline based upon wether funds are there or not.

Very few retailers have adopted electronic check debiting, but I think it will be commonplace within a few years. The check is given to the cashier and sent through the POS where a facsimile is created and the account is debited. The cashier then hands back the voided check. My eye doctors office does this as does a local Christian bookstore(ironic, as many fundamentalist find electronic transactions to smack of the book of Revelations). I am only aware of major retailers posting signs that returned checks may be electronically debited. Once this becomes commonplace, the need for writing checks is all but eliminated as very little difference exists from using a debit card.

I know many senior citizens are wary of ATMs and using debit cards, but the primary reason most people bother with checks today is to get the float from paycheck to paycheck assuming your not dealing with a bad check artist or ID theif.

rich
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Post by rich » 22 Feb 2006 20:40

There are non-luddite reasons to avoid debit cards. They don't have the legal consumer protections of vanilla ATM cards and they are incompatible with some ATMs, esp. overseas.

Dean
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Post by Dean » 12 Jan 2007 00:23

Oh yes! I remember the machines! When I was "old enough"...my mom let me do the check for her @ the machine. One day...I started playing with the machine...by punching all kinds of stuff into it. It started printing stuff...even tho I had never inserted the card! It was a riot!

judyp

check cashine machines at alpha beta

Post by judyp » 13 Feb 2007 19:42

They were called CASHEX, They had the right idea at the time when they took alot of checks in those days,and it did keep customers from using bad checks,payroll & personal.

Dean
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Post by Dean » 14 Feb 2007 01:55

The cards were green & black, correct?!

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runchadrun
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Post by runchadrun » 14 Feb 2007 11:16

Dean wrote:The cards were green & black, correct?!
I believe so, as were the machines. I found a reference to a card called "Security Service" that was a joint venture of Alpha Beta and Security Pacific Bank that you used in the machines to approve your check. You could also use a Security Pacific Mastercharge card to approve the check. It was tested in 1976 and rolled out to the whole chain in 1977.

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Post by Terry K » 05 Mar 2007 00:59

Jewel in Chicago had this kind of a setup where you had a card that you had to swipe to get a check approved at a machine at the CS desk.

scanman2
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Post by scanman2 » 24 Sep 2007 17:32

These machines were called CASHEX. It was originally designed for ALpha Beta but became a service that they sold to other stores. We actually used it in the original 2 Superior Super Warehouse stores in Lynwood and South Central LA for less than a year and then switched over to Telecheck.

bigbubby
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Post by bigbubby » 26 Sep 2007 18:55

Lucky Stores also used CASHEX cards, my mother used them all the time.

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