3 ways Loss Prevention teams can improve cash security

Dave Lunn TellermateDespite the rise in non-cash payments such as mobile, wearable and electronic payments; cash still plays a vital role in the daily operations for retailers, restaurants and many other businesses across the world. In fact, in a recent study 53% of businesses said that the majority of their takings were still in cash. But while cash offers a simple and convenient form of payment for consumers, it can pose a number of challenges for Loss Prevention teams in terms of security. Between internal theft and external threats, keeping this cash secure can often be a full-time task…

Cash Loss

Cash is one of the most stolen items in the world – and it’s easy to see why. It’s often readily available, easy to conceal (in small quantities), quick to offload and difficult to trace.

For loss prevention teams, keeping your business’s cash secure is a big challenge. Because, despite investment in technology and processes to protect your cash from external threats (such as safes, CIT collections and high spec security systems); these can be relatively defenseless against systematic attacks from employees.

The risk of internal theft

Improve Cash SecurityWorryingly, it’s not just external threats that place your cash at risk. A recent study into the causes of retail shrinkage found that internal theft (employee theft) is now the biggest cause of shrinkage for global retailers. This means that for many businesses, the biggest threat to its cash comes directly from those who are paid to manage it.

So, with the risk of both internal fraud and external theft a real consideration for many businesses, it’s important to take steps to protect your cash at each stage of the cash management process – from the counting to the transportation of the physical cash across your business. Below are three ways to improve cash security across your business:

  1. Reducing the exposure of cash
    Your cash is most at risk when it’s out in the open. This means every time your cash is being handled, counted or moved it’s exposed to the risk of theft or loss. To reduce the opportunity for cash loss, remove unnecessary exposure. For example, do your cash drawers really need to be counted at shift changeover time? Businesses who use Intelligent Cash Drawers can have a running total of their cash (reconciled against the POS) in real-time. This eliminates the need to count cash drawers every time a new cashier takes over – meaning cash is no longer exposed as drawers are counted or reconciled by staff throughout the day. Plus, by eliminating the need to reconcile drawers throughout the day your business can reduce the frequency of cash carried through the store (to the back office) during opening hours – mitigating the risk of grab and run thefts.
  2. Closed loop cash management
    Closed-loop cash management systems are increasingly popular. They come in a variety of different forms, sizes and scales. But at their core, closed-loop cash management systems significantly reduce the number of “touches” required to manage your business’s cash. By automating cash management processes such as counting cash or reconciling cash drawers you can minimize the need for manual intervention. This means less opportunity for cash loss or theft. Introducing a closed loop cash management system (which could include a mixture of smart safes, cash recyclers or intelligent cash drawers) in your business will mean fewer people “touching” your cash and less room for accidental or malicious cash loss.
  3. Better visibility of your cash
    Between your cash drawers, point of sale safes, back office safes and CIT providers getting an accurate picture of all physical cash across your stores can be a difficult task. But when cash is unaccounted for, it’s at a higher risk of theft or loss. Generating a clear picture of you cash as it moves in, around and out of your stores will help your business to reduce the risk of cash loss and help you remove opportunities for theft. Plus, better visibility of your cash will not only help your stores protect profits – but will also help drive efficiency. When you know how much physical cash you have and where it is you can enhance cash management processes to ensure that stores aren’t holding too much cash and that CIT collections are optimized.

There are a number of ways to protect your cash from external forces. But, with employee theft now the leading cause of shrinkage for retailers – it’s just as important to protect your cash from internal threats.

Protecting your cash from internal fraud can be tricky, after all these are the people that have access to your cash on a daily basis. But, there are a number of ways to reduce the opportunity for malicious cash loss and to protect your business’s assets. From limiting the exposure of your cash to getting better visibility of the physical cash across each and every one of yours stores – through a more structured approach to cash management your business can reduce the risk of cash loss in your business and improve cash security.

Want to get better visibility of your cash? Learn more about Tellermate’s LiveDrawer, the Intelligent Cash Drawer.

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