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.

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.