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 

Benefits: 

  • 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.

Cash at Kiosks & POS

Can your kiosks serve a cash paying customer the same way as a card paying customer?

With CIMA, now you can…easily!

CIMA solves the problem of handling cash at a self-service kiosk or at point-of-sale (POS).

Our kiosk that integrates note and coin recycling is designed to be implemented in self-ordering and self-checkout environments. It allows consumers to self-scan or self-select items to purchase or order and pay by cash with both notes and coins. The unit will count, sort, store cash paid, and dispense change (notes and coins) back to the consumer.

Already have a kiosk partner? No worries!

Our stand-alone consumer-facing cash recycling solutions integrate into kiosks designed and manufactured by specialist kiosk manufacturers too. They can also be integrated into POS environments to automate cash payment at traditional checkout lanes.

Our CASH@KIOSK range allows QSR / fast food outlets to accept cash payments and dispense change at the point of transaction thanks to our kiosks with our fully integrated note and coin recycling technology. Why force customers to queue at a traditional POS lane to pay with cash? Our cash-enabled kiosks can also be used in self-service bill payment applications or retail self-checkout applications where a weighing product is not needed.

Benefits:

  • Automate the cash handling process at self-ordering or self-checkout
  • Staff do not need to physically handle cash
  • Improve customer experience
  • Improve staff productivity – more time with customers and value-added store activities
  • Clean solution for cash handling in places where hygiene is important
  • Increase security and reconciliation to optimize business processes
  • Easy integration in any store format/checkout environment

CIMA Cash Handling America Inc. is the wholly-owned US subsidiary of CIMA SpA. (Italy).  We are a global manufacturer of cash handling solutions that help businesses significantly reduce the cost of managing cash.  We supply a broad range of hardware and software to businesses across Banking / Financial Institutions, Retail, Hospitality, and Gaming.

Cash at Kiosks = Convenience

Today, in almost every walk of life, we see the rise of self-service kiosks. The evolution toward self-service has been in the works for several years, but the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the trend. For retail, technology has opened up self-service opportunities in multiple shopping experience areas, from ordering to customizing to paying. Automated cash at kiosks can now handle many points along the transaction chain accurately and efficiently. For brick-and-mortar stores to survive the pandemic and beyond, they must incorporate new technology and change the customer mindset about the retail experience. The customer experience has never been more critical than it is today.

SELF SERVICE TREND

Even before the pandemic, retailers were expanding self-service options. Younger customers were the first to embrace anything automated, but many older customers still preferred in-person transactions. After nearly a year of living under a cloud of COVID19, most of the public has grown comfortable with automated processes. We now see many people seek out automation and actively avoid any personal contact when making purchases. Many customers enjoy the self-service experience so much that it influences where they choose to shop. Instead of relying on a store employee, customers can get almost everything they need from a kiosk. Automated cash at kiosks enhance the retail experience by:

  • Wayfinding
  • Price check/product lookup
  • Product upsell or customization
  • Special Promotions
  • Bridal & Gift Registry
  • Self-Checkout

CUSTOMER AND EMPLOYEE SAFETY

The reduction of touchpoints and heightened awareness about hygiene is likely here to stay. Conditioned customers recognize safety measures when they enter a store to the time they leave the premises. Retailers must make every effort to show customers that sanitization protocols are being followed throughout the establishment.

There are several things that a retailer can do to show their efforts and make a positive impression on health-conscious customers. One solution is installing automated cash handling kiosks to eliminate the exchange of bills and coins between customers and workers. Although the risk of contracting an illness from touching money is minimal, the desire for hygiene is strong. Customer-facing cash payment kiosks allow buyers to pay with bills and coins without interacting with a cashier. The money is counted, sorted, and stored securely in the unit and does not need people to handle it. Traditional self-checkout solutions tend to be rigid in format and force retailers to deploy them with limited application. Self-serve kiosks with full cash recycling capability can be deployed almost anywhere in the store to allow customers better checkout experiences.

CUSTOMER LOYALTY

In many retail establishments, cash customers have to interact with a cashier, while card or app-paying customers enjoy a seamless experience. As a result, cash-paying customers are penalized with a longer transaction experience. Longer lines and forced contact with employees can make in-person shopping unpleasant for cash customers. This is most evident today in the Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) / Fast Food segment, where self-serve kiosks are being deployed extensively. However, very few allow cash-paying customers a complete end-to-end transaction experience. Customer-facing kiosks that can manage cash and coin payments are fast, accurate, and efficient regardless of payment choice. Cash customers will return to a store or kiosk that can take their payment without added hassle. The result is repeat business and increased loyalty among this segment of customers.

SECURITY AND VISIBILITY

Complete payment kiosks offer retailers added security and visibility. The machines are unloaded and replenished by a designated employee, which dramatically decreases the number of touchpoints and people handling the cash. This also eliminates human error and the opportunity for employee theft. Retailers reduce shrink and increase profits. The technology included in cash-handling kiosks also allows real-time visibility of cash totals and simple integration and eliminates manual till reconciliation.

The brick-and-mortar stores that make it through this difficult period will be the ones that address the needs of our new normal while still fulfilling the desire for an in-person shopping experience. Self-service kiosks offer an innovative and long-term solution to bridge the divide between online and in-person shopping. They need to service ALL customers.

WEBINAR – REIMAGINE THE RETAIL PAYMENT EXPERIENCE

Learn more about how you can reimagine the retail experience with cash at kiosks at our upcoming webinar with ATMIA on Dec. 2.

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered many aspects of brick and mortar retail businesses. Some immediate and noticeable changes have been in-store layout, sanitization protocols, customer distancing, and payment options. 

Join Vik Devjee on December 2nd at 11:00 CST to learn how you can reimagine the retail payment experience and how cash payments can be just as easy as a card payment!

What you will learn and objectives:

  • How to challenge the meaning of cash payments at the point of sale (POS) and how to manage cash differently in a retail store
  • Cash payments at (POS) no longer need to be so manual.  There is a better way
  • How consumers who pay in cash can enjoy the same “touchless”  and hygienic benefits as those that pay by card or phone
  • How to give all customers the same experience regardless of how they pay
  • How to challenge the meaning of self-checkout…does it really have to be at the front of the store and in its current format?
  • How cash handling can become more secure and less risky in a retail environment with new automated and secure consumer-facing solutions at the point of transaction
  • How staff can become more productive and more comfortable when they don’t need to manage cash manually