5 Shifts Driving Cash Automation

The U.S. economy is struggling to recover after more than two years of upheaval. As the pandemic recedes, the nation faces several social and economic shifts. These changes will steer the direction of commerce and shape our new normal. Hospitality, fast food, gaming, grocery, cannabis, and retail banking outlets must pivot to accommodate new customer and worker behaviors. Here are five shifts driving cash automation:

Labor Shortages

In the latter half of 2021, the “Great Resignation” rippled across many sectors. The phenomenon decimated lower-paying hospitality and retail jobs. By the time the dust settled, over 1 million hospitality workers and nearly 5% of retail workers had quit. Retailers report that it is now almost impossible to hire enough staff to keep up with business.

The cash automation solution:

Retailers can deploy cash automation machines quickly and fill many of these menial jobs. Front-of-house transactions and backroom counting activities are more reliable, accurate, and faster when done by machines. Cash handling devices such as recyclers, smart safes, and kiosks remove the unpredictability of human labor and reduce employment costs. Businesses can offer better wages to a much smaller workforce while improving the bottom line.

Increases in Crime

From coast to coast, criminal activity is increasing at an alarming rate. Businesses are reporting a surge in crimes from armed robbery to cash shrink from employees. Even counterfeit operations are in high gear, churning out near-perfect reproductions of U.S. banknotes.

The cash automation solution:

Cash automation machines act as deterrents to criminal activity in many ways. Armed robbers don’t want to risk the time needed to break into smart safes, cash recyclers, or kiosks. These machines accurately track money flow inside the business, allowing managers to see which employee used the machine, total transactions, and total cash deposited or withdrawn. Shrink from theft or human error is immediately visible. Built-in scanners also detect counterfeit notes and separate them for removal.

Inflation

Although financial experts proclaimed that inflation would be transitory, it has surged to historic levels with little relief in sight. Everything from materials to labor is more expensive than ever before.

The cash automation solution:

Cash recycling hardware is a fixed investment that will last for many years. A self-service kiosk will not ask for a raise or drive up health insurance premiums. Automating all cash handling activities is a wise investment that will quickly pay for itself.

Increased Tech Acceptance

The pandemic sped up the acceptance of automation, self-service, and technology in retail spaces. Customers and workers are less resistant to using machines to complete transactions. Even older Americans have become accustomed to using technology to make purchases. Retail outlets that do not recognize this shift in consumer attitudes may get left behind.

The cash automation solution:

By now, most consumers are familiar with the process of using a point of sale kiosk. Many people prefer the self-service option. These customer-facing kiosks require fewer tellers to oversee transactions, saving money without diminishing service. Workers can spend more time on high-value activities such as interacting with customers or upselling merchandise.

Touch-Free Transactions

Many nations worldwide are beginning to look at Covid as endemic instead of pandemic and are adjusting their regulations accordingly. However, many of the lessons and habits from the pandemic may take time to recede. Regular cleaning of surfaces, aversion to contact, and a preference for “touch-free” options will likely remain for some time.

The cash automation solution:

Certain customers may continue to avoid excessive touchpoints, particularly during the annual cold and flu season. Customer-facing kiosks and self-service checkout stations give customers and workers a touch-free option to complete their transactions.

Cash Management – What You Need to Know

Managing Cash for Businesses

Cash handling in retail stores is essential, but some business owners don’t realize that poor cash management could be costing them a lot of money. Costs can be in the form of increased labor, mistakes, and theft. Cash automation addresses these and other associated costs of handling cash. By incorporating machines, retail outlets can prepare floats, provide change and perform end-of-shift balancing without manual handling and do this far more accurately.

What Is Cash Automation?

Automation involves implementing at least one of several different kinds of cash handling machines to take over the work of humans. The cash automation hardware has program software that works with a company’s processes and financial institutions to improve accuracy. There are several kinds of cash management machines available:

Smart Safes

A smart safe is an excellent solution for businesses that store any amount of cash on site. The machine accepts, validates, records, and stores cash securely. Unlike traditional safes, smart safes connect to the internet or cash management technology. The smart safes reconcile the cash automatically, so employees don’t spend time on reconciliation at the close of each day. An intelligent safe can record many data points:

  • Who deposited the cash, and at what time
  • How much cash is stored by denomination
  • Who removed the cash

 

Back-Office Recyclers

In a high cash volume retail establishment, staff members spend valuable time in the back-office cash room. Under management supervision, employees prepare floats, conduct drawer swaps, count, reconcile, and facilitate collection by the CIT company. There are many opportunities for mistakes, miscalculations, and theft. A back-office cash recycler streamlines the entire process and transmits accurate records directly to the CIT or financial institution.

Point of Sale Recyclers

Placing a POS recycling machine at the checkout line allows the use of the device by cashiers or directly by customers. The point of sale cash recycler accepts money and returns change for each transaction. It also stores excess bills, checks for counterfeit notes, and records all transactions. As self-service becomes commonplace, customer-facing recyclers can reduce the amount of labor needed to handle customer payment transactions.

Why Automate Cash Handling?

Cash automation streamlines procedures and offers many benefits:

Labor – The more time employees spend handling, sorting, and counting cash, the more it costs the business. Cash automation means that fewer people spend less time handling transactions.

Security – On a busy day, cashiers might handle large amounts of cash, posing a security risk from external and internal theft. By automating cash procedures and securing surplus banknotes, businesses can add a layer of protection from criminal activity.

Accuracy – Cash automation reduces the number of human errors. Cash handling machines will count, sort, and tally banknotes to prepare the deposit faster and more accurately than an employee could.

Accountability – Cash management technology keeps better records and makes it easier to track how much cash runs through the business. Automation also improves oversight.

Ultimately, any business that manages cash can take advantage of automating manual cash handling processes. Reducing the costs and risks associated with managing cash can deliver significant bottom-line benefits.