CIMA Innovation

CIMA’s Continued Commitment to Innovation

We don’t believe in “That’s The Way It’s Always Been Done” – Cash management innovation is necessary.

This mentality permeates many industries. People and companies ignore alternative ideas because we always do things a certain way…the status quo. Nothing stifles innovation faster than a mindset that discourages creativity and stops the quest for constant improvement. The situation is no different in the cash handling industry. Why dedicate engineering and resources to reimagine a machine that has been around for more than half a century?

A Bit Of History

The first ATM was introduced in the U.S on September 2, 1969, at the Chemical Bank in Rockville Centre, New York. These money dispensing machines became widely popular and handled many functions previously performed by human tellers. In the late 80s, ATM manufacturers began designing cash recyclers. Machines that deposit AND dispense cash. They used most of the same components, including cash cassettes. Eventually, cassettes became the industry standard for storing, recycling, and transporting bills in cash machines. A need was created for cash management innovation.

A Fresh Eye for New Solutions

Despite their outward similarities, cash recyclers have a very different purpose than ATMs. They were initially, and still, today, used for internal business use to automate cash handling processes and allow staff to deposit and dispense cash.

CIMA approached the industry with a fresh eye and questioned everything about the process. Our engineers wondered if cash recycling machines even needed cassettes. Cassettes are prone to damage and require time to “de cash” (remove notes, bundle, pack into plastic bags). Cassettes are expensive to replace and can be damaged easily.

CIMA engineers solved this array of problems by eliminating the need for cassettes. Instead of bulky, breakable, and unwieldy cassettes, CIMA engineered several lines of machines to recycle notes on drums or roll storage modules and deposit notes directly into a plastic bag. There are no cassettes to damage and no keys to manage. Bags are also much lighter and easier to handle than cassettes. Roll-based recycling also eliminates the problem of wasted capacity when a business uses only a tiny percentage of a cassette’s total capacity.

Innovate, Don’t Imitate

CIMA’s self-sealing stacking bag technology packs notes in a tight stack. Before removal, the machine heat-seals each bag to prevent tampering. The retailer removes sealed bags and stores them for CIT pickup. When the CIT arrives, they scan the bags, grab them and leave. The notes are never exposed or handled, as with the cassette system. This touch-free system adds a layer of protection against theft and loss. Every bag has a unique barcode so it can be tracked and traced as needed.

CIMA’s stacked bags are also much faster to process. A recent study at a CIT depot compared the processing time of 3,000 notes from CIMA bags versus standard cassettes. The CIMA bag took less than half the time to process.

The unique stacking bag technology is available across a range of smart safes and cash recyclers with capacities ranging from 1,200 to 4,000 notes per bag.

Innovation Across Industries

CIMA’s experience across various industries has shown us many of these “we have always done it that way” situations. Questioning everything drives new ideas, new products, and innovation. CIMA’s customer-centric approach focuses on solving problems whether they are industry-specific or situation-specific:

  • Retail
  • Banking
  • Gaming / Hospitality

Don’t settle for what your cash management provider offers. Ask questions and challenge the status quo.

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.