Coinstar Inc. is changing its name to reflect the growing number of services that its ubiquitous kiosks provide a move that in many ways mirrors how the company's flagship coin counters have evolved to become a diversified payments player.
The July 2 name change to Outerwall Inc. was accompanied by a new stock ticker symbol on the Nasdaq exchange, OUTR, and plans for the Bellevue, Wash.-based company to acquire ecoATM, makers of self-serve kiosks for consumers to sell used mobile phones, tablets and MP3 players, for $350 million. While the name of the parent company has changed, the Coinstar brand will continue to be used for the coin kiosk business alongside Redbox, its sister brand of DVD kiosks.
When the company first began rolling out its coin counting machines in the mid-90s, converting coins to cash (minus a percent-based surcharge) was the only option. Now, Coinstar kiosks allow consumers to use coins to add funds to a Green Dot prepaid debit card or PayPal account, make a charitable donation and avoid counting fees by exchanging coins for gift cards that can be used at merchants' retail and online stores.
Along the way, the company set out to add a wide range of front-of-store machines, including movie rentals by acquiring the Redbox DVD rental service. The company also offers machines that dispense cellular phone cards, tickets to concerts and prepaid cards. The company started electronic payment kiosks as well, although that was purchased in May 2010 by InComm Inc.
Outerwall is still working expanding its partnership with PayPal, allowing consumers to use the coin cashing machines to load, withdraw and send money from their PayPal accounts. The initiative began with a pilot in the Dallas-Fort Worth market in May 2012.
Its kiosks are complemented with websites that let consumers shop and reserve movie rentals online or track coin counting transactions and receive merchant promotional offers. With ecoATM, which Outerwall already owns a 23% stake in, the company is adding new features to its suite of kiosks in the same way that it's developed additional capabilities for Coinstar and Redbox.
Our transition to Outerwall signifies the companys next chapter as we continue to push the walls of retail out to bring new and inventive solutions to consumers, says J. Scott Di Valerio, CEO of Outerwall, in a July 2 press release. We are enthusiastic about the future and committed to building on our existing brands Redbox entertainment and Coinstar money services, as well as uncovering the next idea that will create a better every day for our consumers, retailers and partners.