Cash Management Innovation During a Crisis

It has been approximately one year since COVID19 threw the world into chaos. The toll on lives, economies, businesses, and general well-being has been tremendous, and we may see the repercussions for years. For companies across the spectrum, the ability to adapt, pivot, and innovate quickly separated the field into survivors and strugglers. Influential corporate leaders rapidly shifted their organizations in response to unexpected events and changing customer needs. Like other periods of disaster and recovery in world history, the disruptions caused by COVID19 sowed seeds of creativity and cash management innovation.

CIMA Engineers innovate during COVID

As the pandemic raced from continent to continent, it shut down cities and economies in its wake. Many businesses took a wait-and-see approach, hoping to weather the storm and return to regular operation in short order. Nobody anticipated the challenge of a year-long shutdown. CIMA leadership evaluated the situation and refocused its corporate efforts on cash management innovation with engineering and Research and Development (R&D). 

“It was obvious that international shipments would be a challenge during the pandemic. We knew that there would be some downtime, so we took that opportunity to think outside the box and began innovating new products to meet the emerging needs of the marketplace. CIMA is a manufacturer with deep R&D capability, not just an assembler of parts, and we wanted to use the time to create new solutions. We asked our engineers to rethink some of our existing products and try out new ideas,” said Vittorio Razzaboni, CEO of CIMA (HQ-Italy).

CIMA’s in-house engineering, research, and development teams are composed of 55 talented professionals with a combined 300 years of experience in the industry. The intense focus on R&D in 2020 produced several innovative breakthroughs. Unlike companies that tried to wait out this challenging period, CIMA brought brand new solutions to the market:

  • Finalized the high capacity, cassette-based, AST9000 Teller Cash Recycler (TCR) for the banking segment by pushing through software integration with middleware partners.
  • Launched an entire range of consumer-facing INLANE models to market, including a kiosk.
  • Built a new product – The SDM50, an ultra-compact smart safe with self-sealing stacking bag technology. 

“Our newest ultra-compact smart-safe (SDM50) is a great example of our R&D team thinking outside the box. For years, our engineers were building bigger and bigger machines with greater capacity to serve our customers. During the pandemic slowdown, we realized there was a huge need from retailers that want the same unique features and functions (like our self-sealing stacking bag technology) but with much smaller volumes of cash. We creatively re-engineered everything in the new safe to be smaller and delivered the industry’s first smart safe to bag 1,200 notes. This product eliminates the need for traditional smart safes with cassettes now,” says Marco Angelini, Head of R&D at CIMA (HQ)

Vik Devjee, Vice President of CIMA-Cash Handling America, is excited about the possibilities and is eager to bring these new solutions to the U.S. market.

“Based on what we’ve accomplished from the new SDM50, we are looking to integrate the engineering into other lines of products. For example, self-sealing stacking bag technology in our INLANE range. I think there will be a high demand for these innovative products and solutions,” states Devjee. 

 Introducing the SDM50

The SDM50 is an ultra-compact BANKNOTE deposit machine (smart safe) from CIMA. Designed for low cash volume applications where moving notes to a secure safe is essential. It is ideally suited for convenience stores, quick-service restaurants (QSR), pharmacies, and other small-format retail environments. 

The SDM50 smart safe is equipped with CIMA’s unique self-sealing plastic stacking bag technology (1,200 banknotes).  The SDM50 has a single note validator and can process 2 banknotes per second.   

Powered by CIMA’s own BV1000 validator ensures full image authenticity and compliance with all major global central banks. 

The SDM50 is also equipped with a 7inch touch screen pc that runs our CAOS light on-device application. An integrated receipt printer and Dallas key reader is also included 


  • High-performance BV1000L validator for fast and accurate note processing (2 bills/sec)
  • Multiple currency options
  • Pull out system for easy maintenance/replacement
  • Heat sealing stacking bag system
  • 1,200 banknotes 
  • Notes are stacked tightly in a plastic bag that is sealed prior to removal
  • Allows for easy transport and processing at CIT depots
  • Safe can only be opened once the bag is fully sealed 
  • Small footprint and height for flexible installation scenarios
  • Fully compatible with CAOS Light device software and C-Link management platform

About CIMA Corporate Leadership 

CIMA is a private Italian, family-owned, and operated business spanning three generations based in Mirandola, Italy. Family ownership gives the company the flexibility to make agile decisions in product development. For almost 65 years, CIMA has redefined the cash handling industry through innovation, continuous investment in research and development, and by understanding customer-specific needs in more than 45 countries. 

CIMA – America

CIMA Cash Handling America, Inc. is based in Houston, Texas, and is the first corporate location outside of the Italian headquarters. CIMA is poised to serve its U.S. customers and partners by helping businesses significantly reduce the cost of managing cash. CIMA Cash Handling America supplies a broad range of smart safes, back office/front of store recycling systems, and software to businesses across Banking / Financial Institutions, Retail, Hospitality, and Gaming.

Benchmark’s CashWare Now Certified for AST9000 TCR

CIMA’s AST9000 is now certified with Benchmark’s CashWare software. The AST9000 is the latest and most advanced cash recycler in the CIMA lineup of financial cash recyclers. The AST9000 will join the 7000 and 7016 cash recyclers certified for full functionality support with CashWare.

The AST9000 is a cassette-based, cash-in cash-out, teller cash recycler (TCR) from CIMA. Designed with high performance in mind for retail environments/bank branches where cash processing volumes are high. The AST9000 ensures security, reliability, and significantly faster cash processing times to deliver major operational efficiencies and productivity benefits.

AST9000 accepts, authenticates, stores and dispenses banknotes through a conveniently located high capacity input/output/reject slot. Recycling and storage are accomplished via a series of highly configurable cassettes.

“CashWare from Benchmark is a leading middleware platform that allows TCR’s to connect to banking core and teller applications.  It is important for manufacturers of TCR’s like CIMA to be able to integrate into these banking solutions and we are very excited to have been able to collaborate with the team at Benchmark to integrate into CashWare. This partnership now provides our mutual reseller partners to deliver best of breed hardware and software to automate the teller cash handling in banks and credit unions,” states Vik Devjee, Vice President, CIMA Cash Handling America, Inc.

About Benchmark

For over 30 years, Benchmark has assisted banks in migrating to new technologies and business models to offer the consumer best-in-class service and convenience. Benchmark has expertise in-branch cash handling solutions and is among the largest check scanner resellers in the United States. To learn more about Benchmark’s commitment to branch automation, please visit

CIMA Launches the AST9000

CIMA debuts its most advanced Teller Cash Recycler, the AST9000

CIMA Cash Handling America has launched the AST9000, the most advanced, high-capacity teller cash recycler (TCR) in its popular family of products for the Retail Banking market. In addition to increased capacity, the AST9000 is also the industry’s most highly configurable TCR. Increased capacity and flexible configuration options address the current and future cash handling demands of financial institutions. The AST9000 joins the CIMA lineup of TCRs, which includes the AST7000 and the AST7016.

“With the introduction of the AST9000, we can now offer a full range of solutions for any volume of cash handling,” says Vik Devjee, Vice President of CIMA Cash Handling America, Inc. “The AST9000 was primarily developed for the retail banking market. However, it is also a perfect fit for high-volume enterprises in retail or hospitality.  AST9000 is also used in combination with our coin recyclers for a complete, high-capacity back-office Diamante and Diamante Pro cash recycling solution,” explains Vik.

Form and Function

The AST9000 contains the most advanced recognition and authentication technologies that make banking transactions faster and more secure. The unit’s exterior design features a compact size and a modern look. The AST9000 is a TCR solution that complements any bank branch, whether it’s an open layout or behind-the-teller format.

“We’re always looking for ways to provide our customers with the best technology as well as machines that actually look good. The AST9000 delivers both,” says Vik. “Many banks plan to transform their branch layout to be more open and consumer-friendly. Our new generation of TCRs doesn’t have to be hidden behind counters or in back rooms.”

About the AST9000 TCR

The AST9000 is a cassette-based, cash-in cash-out, TCR. The system offers 20 possible configurations – more than any other product on the market today. Each customer can customize the configuration based on their specific cash handling needs. The AST9000 accepts, authenticates, stores, and dispenses banknotes through a high-capacity input/output/reject slot. Recycling and storage are carried out via five cassettes with a range of flexible options and features:

  • Single denomination recycling cassette
  • Dual denomination recycling cassette
  • Deposit / Overflow cassette
  • Self-auditing
  • Escrow
  • Rejects

Banknote detection is done by a validator that can detect authenticity and conduct banknote fitness sorting. Both scenarios comply with the regulations of all major global central banks. View our video below to view the AST9000 TCR in action.


“We are very excited that Compuflex worked with our engineering team in Italy to integrate the AST9000 into their BranchWare platform. Our distribution partners can take the AST9000 to market and immediately implement the unit in banking environments that utilize BranchWare,” says Vik.

BranchWare provides a quick and affordable way to connect cash recyclers to existing teller applications. It automatically extracts pertinent information from the withdrawal screen and inserts the information into the deposit screen using Compuflex’ state-of-the-art screen management engine.

Mark Farrelly, Chief Operating Officer of Compuflex, states, “We are pleased that the Compuflex and CIMA teams collaborated to ensure BranchWare, our flagship soft integration solution already used by hundreds of banks, credit unions and retailers, supports all features of the AST9000. The combined solution brings exceptional value to end-users looking to automate and optimize their cash processes quickly. Having worked with CIMA devices for more than a decade, we understand the quality of their product and their reputation in the cash automation industry. Compuflex is excited for the launch of BranchWare for the AST9000 and is looking forward to continuing to work closely with CIMA and their resellers.”

Return on Investment

Financial institutions want the best return on their branch investments. Bank customers are seeking a better in-person experience. The AST9000 answers these demands by enabling more transactions, offering cash-handling savings, and freeing tellers to focus on higher-value activities. Cash automation solutions like the AST9000 can deliver operational efficiencies and productivity benefits from the moment of installation.

Purchasing information

The AST9000 is immediately available for pre-order. CIMA partners understand that one size does not fit all. They will work closely with customers to recommend the appropriate configurations for their specific needs.  All CIMA partners are fully trained and certified to deploy and support all of our TCRs.

About CIMA

CIMA is a global manufacturer of cash handling solutions that help businesses significantly reduce the cost of managing cash. We supply a broad range of smart safes, back office/front of store recycling systems and software for Banking/Financial, Retail, Hospitality, and Gaming. At CIMA, we believe that ANY size business can reap the benefits of cash automation. Contact us today for a consultation or view our full line of products here.

About Compuflex

Compuflex Corporation, an independent, privately-owned, cash handling solution provider, has been successfully providing cash handling solutions for over 30 years. Compuflex delivers solutions that address cash management, automation delivery, and currency tracking for financial, retail, and gaming markets both nationally and internationally.