CIMA Last Mile CASH MANAGEMENT Website

The Last Mile of Cash Management

What Does “Last Mile” Mean?

The Last Mile typically refers to the final stage in a commercial, industrial, or delivery process. The term was first used in the telecommunications industry to describe the final stretch of wiring that delivers services to customers. Telecom companies realized that the last mile was the least efficient and expensive part of the installation and delivery process. Other industries soon identified most of their own “last mile” problems. For retail, manufacturing, transportation, and supply chain, the last mile refers to the challenges that arise when a product goes from the final distribution center to the customer. This final part of the delivery tends to be the most complicated, inefficient, and expensive part of the entire operation.

Did you know cash management also has a last mile problem?

Cash management solutions have been around for a long time. Businesses can choose from various smart safes, cash recyclers, and other machines that validate, count, sort, deposit, and dispense banknotes. The technology and process are familiar to almost anyone who has worked in retail, hospitality, gaming, or other industries that accept and process cash. Let’s follow the path of cash management through an establishment:

  • At the start and end of each shift, check the tills in and out (dispensed/deposited)
  • Count, validate, and sort the cash in the back office
  • Place the cash in a smart safe or recycler
  • The CIT crew removes the cash cassette from the machine
  • Cash must be bundled, bagged, and sealed before being transported
  • Cash is transported by the CIT and processed at the depot
  • At first glance, this may seem like a reasonably efficient and straightforward cycle of events.

However, a closer inspection shows that the store’s final steps of cash management are fraught with inefficiencies and expenses.

A typical cash recycler or smart safe utilizes bulky cash cassettes that require significant manual effort. The CIT crew, with store management supervision, removes the cassettes from the machines. Next, they must bundle and bag the notes. Not only is this process time-consuming, but it requires additional staff to supervise. It also exposes the business to human error or theft.

In some cases, actual store staff removes and bundles the cash. Once the cash arrives at the CIT depot, the bundles of cash or loose notes must be processed, adding time and labor costs. We call this manual end process “The Last Mile of Cash Handling.”

CIMA Innovation Streamlines the Last Mile

CIMA smart safes and cash recyclers use an entirely different technology. CIMA machines deposit notes and tightly stack them into a heat-sealed bag inside the safe. The result looks like a shrink-wrapped block of notes. No more bulky, breakable cassettes! Do away with the cassette system and realize greater efficiencies:

  • Less risk of theft or human error
  • More transparency and accountability for cash transactions
  • Minimize third-party fees, such as CIT fees and banking fees
  • Reduce cash-room/back-office activities and related costs
  • Eliminate manual bag processing for CIT collection
  • Cut depot processing time significantly. No need to deal with bundles of notes.

CIMA’s self-sealing stacking bag technology addresses many of the issues that arise in the last mile of cash management. This innovative technology is available across all product categories, including teller cash recyclers, smart safes, recyclers, and customer-facing recycling solutions.

 

Retail Cash Management in a Coronavirus World

With the onset of coronavirus nationally, concerns around safe and hygienic retail cash management have become a concern. CIMA America offers solutions that are safe and hygienic and can also save you time and money. 

The rapid spread of the coronavirus has brought the world economy to a grinding halt. Every facet of commerce, from the multimillion-dollar transaction to the simple act of grocery shopping, has been altered. Early reports that paper money could harbor the virus spurred many retailers to demand digital or card payments. Not only has that claim been debunked by the experts, but refusing cash payments hurts millions of Americans without bank accounts or access to credit or debit cards. According to the World Health Organization, the danger is minimal. The risk posed by handling a paper note or coin is less than touching other common surfaces. Doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, or credit cards are just as likely to retain viral matter. Vigilant hand washing after touching any foreign surface or object is still the best defense against transmission.

Despite some negative perceptions, paper notes and coins will continue to be a significant part of the U.S. economy. Consumers withdrew large amounts of cash at the outset of the pandemic because it represented tangible value. According to the Federal Reserve, cash accounts for:

49% of all payments under $10
42% of payments less than $25
32% of all purchases

After weeks of lockdown, people have been conditioned to maintain their distance and touch as few surfaces as possible. This behavior is likely to resurface during annual flu seasons. In response to this new mindset, business entities and retailers must consider implementing immediate measures that address concerns and behavior about retail cash management. Retailers need to make their customers and workers more comfortable by minimizing the contact points between people and cash. Automation solutions are immediately available, and the benefits go well beyond hygiene and health.

Smart safes are the most widely deployed cash management solution in the market today. They provide a low-cost answer to securing cash in a retail environment. These solutions only offer cash depositing and are not designed to dispense money out. Nevertheless, they do offer retailers the ability to secure cash soon after it has been collected.

Cash recyclers were historically only used by larger retailers with very high cash volumes. Now, cash recyclers are available in a range of models and are customizable to almost any size business. The benefits are immediate:

  • Eliminate multiple touchpoints – In a manual process, notes and coins must go through multiple hand-to-hand exchanges between cashiers, cash office staff, and management. Receiving notes and coins directly from the recycler for floats and then depositing end of shift funds means that fewer people need to handle the money.
  • Reclaim valuable labor – Counting money in the cash room requires trusted employees and managers to step away from customer-centered activities to count manually, recount, and prepare floats or reconcile end of shift funds. A cash recycler automates and speeds this process. It takes fewer employees less time to complete this task. Workers can focus on more important things, such as replenishing stock or serving customers.
  • Reduce errors and shrink – Automation can eliminate human error and theft. Businesses keep more of the money they earn.

Traditionally, cash cassettes inside a smart safe or cash recycler need to be opened, cash removed, and sometimes bundled and then packed into secure transport bags. Newer smart safes and recyclers from CIMA incorporate self-sealing stacking bag technology that eliminates the need for cassettes to be manually “decashed”. Notes are sealed in a secure plastic bag inside the safe and ready to be transported when removed.  No exposed cash, no need for someone to remain in the cash room longer than just a quick pick up.

  • POS Cash Recyclers are fully automated, customer-facing teller stations used in a wide range of businesses. These cash recyclers can be used as staff-assisted devices, or as self-service kiosks.
  • A clean solution where hygiene is essential – Cash is paid directly into the recycler, and change is dispensed directly to the customer. The machine itself can be wiped down and disinfected.
  • Reduced labor costs – Fewer staff are required to process payments. The employees can spend time on customer service activities or other business tasks.
    Increased security – Cash is collected, recorded, accounted for, and secured in the recycler until ready for transport by CIT service.