Cash remains as relevant in retail as it has ever been. Although slowly declining as a percentage of point-of-sale transactions, the amount of cash in circulation continues to grow in the United States. Managing this growing volume of cash remains problematic, as there are widely known cash handling challenges facing retail operations today. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
Cash recycling is positioned to address these challenges and represents the next evolutionary step in cash management. A cash recycling solution offers many more benefits and features over that of standard deposit and dispensing solutions offered in previous generations.
Different than a depository unit or “smart” safe, a cash recycler accepts deposits and dispenses notes. It is also able to securely store notes, automatically manage cash inventory, and generally streamline the overall cash management process. Cash recycling isn’t just a device — it’s a holistic approach to cash management. By automating and streamlining manual cash handling processes, it impacts every process and person in any retail or other cash-heavy environment.
Most cash recyclers operate in much the same way. A stack of cash is placed in a bulk-note feeder. The cash is then quickly scanned and distributed into recycling modules or deposit cassettes. The cash that is stored in the recycling modules is then available to be dispensed as needed. All cash levels and thresholds are automatically managed by the cash recycler. This automation speeds the process of securely depositing or withdrawing money, while maintaining adequate cash reserves. Ideally, a cash recycler will put a location as close to “cash equilibrium” as possible. This means that a location is able to maintain its own cash levels without needing change order deliveries or cash pickups for an extended period of time.
How is Cash Recycling Changing?
Until recently, cash recyclers have been large and expensive devices that only deliver a return on investment (ROI) in back-office banking or extremely cash heavy retail environments where labor savings from counting and deposit preparation, as well as reduced treasury management fees, outweigh the expensive purchase price. Even so, there are examples of high volume retail entities employing cash recycling that are ultimately not seeing the expected ROI. This dynamic is shifting with the introduction of smaller, more efficient, and much more cost-effective recyclers.
Not only is the cost of these devices significantly less, close to 75% less in many cases, but the smaller form factor of these devices also allows them to be placed in many locations that were not possible before. In the retail space, this includes the possibility of installing a complete recycling solution under a counter and/or immediately next to the cash registers at POS. In other words, all the benefits of recycling are now available at the front lines of retail where the functionality of cash recycling is at its most useful from a cost and time savings perspective.
The Long Walk to the Back Office
In the past, cash recyclers in a retail environment were generally too large to fit anywhere other than a back-office environment. Logistically, this type of setup requires cash be physically transported from the register area through the location to the back office. This requires either a floor manager to constantly run excess cash or float money back and forth between the back office and front counter to the cashiers, or in some extreme cases, requires cashiers themselves to leave the register to do this. At the end of their shift, cashiers would deposit all their remaining cash into the cash recycler, causing an end-of-shift bottleneck.
This situation not only presents an inherent security concern with employees handling and moving cash throughout an active retail environment, but also introduces significant operational inefficiencies to the point of negating some of the most useful benefits that a true recycling solution can offer. For instance, one of the main benefits of a cash recycler is that it can securely manage nearly all cash float and provide immediate funds for larger payouts, such as cash back or lottery. With a back-office solution, there is no way for a cashier to use the cash recycler when these situations arise. These events then require an inefficient, time-wasting manual process to get the required cash funds moved to the register to complete the transaction.
The new Summit Universal Note Recycler (UNR) Series features an extremely reliable and adaptable recycling system. The Summit UNR Series been specifically designed so that it can be scaled to a customers’ needs. For instance, as many as three recycling modules can be added as part of a configuration if more/less cash recycling capability is needed. Extra cash boxes can be added to provide more deposit capacity, if needed.
To learn more about the Summit Universal Note Recycler series of safes, visit fireking.com or speak with us directly by calling 1.800.457.2424.