This is the third consecutive January that I’ve offered predictions regarding cash management trends for the year. And while I could have released this on the first day of 2018, I preferred to wait until the close of National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Retail Big Show so I can see for myself what excites retailers about cash management and how it can help their companies compete and thrive.
The jetlag is behind me but the excitement of the NRF show is still in the air…or perhaps I should I say “in the cloud” since talk of cloud-enabled technology was everywhere.
Despite a variety of payment options that exist today, cash management technology is becoming more prevalent in businesses large and small because of consumers’ continuing desire to pay with cash. Regardless of all the cashless talk that abounds.
So, here are my predictions of the top 3 cash management trends that will occur in global retail this year.
This remains an ongoing topic. Cash is in the mainstream and continues to be the favored form of payment worldwide, particularly for low-value transactions. In fact, according to the World Payments Report 2017, cash in circulation (CIC) either remained stable or increased slightly in the majority of countries studied over the past five years.
For most businesses that accept cash, there is a cost involved: cash in transit (CIT) fees, bank charges, security and labor costs ‒ not to mention the cost of cash loss. Even counting cash takes time and therefore, costs money. Cashiers need to count their drawers at the beginning and end of their shifts; and managers are often in charge of recounting that cash. When there’s a discrepancy – either not enough or too much money in a drawer – it needs to be investigated, and this takes time. Sometimes the mistake is easily resolved; but other times, loss prevention needs to get involved – costing a business even more money.
In short, manually handling money is inefficient. It takes time to do; plus, it takes time away from other tasks, such as restocking items, spending time with customers and driving sales. As long as cash is around, reducing the cost to manage that cash will remain a challenge for businesses that use it. So, what’s the solution? Innovative cash management technology that eliminates these manual processes – which leads me neatly to my next point…
People love these innovative touchscreen devices because they are as simple to use as a smartphone. The intuitive touchscreen interface makes is easier than ever to count cash; and enter balances, reference numbers and media items from a drawer – which can then be reconciled in less than a minute. Some touchscreen counters are fully connected so that cash data can be sent to back-office systems or a printer through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or good old-fashioned USB connection. The new Tellermate Touch even has its own app, meaning users gain instant visibility of cash regardless on their location. Which leads me to the third cash management trend…
Connectivity and cloud-based visibility are huge. Transformative even. The ability for a business to pull up their cash-related data on any device – whether smartphone, PC or tablet – is revolutionary. In today’s mobile environment, there’s now an even greater need for cash management software to give complete visibility of a store’s cash – from anywhere. A CFO or operations manager can be at the home office and instantly gain access to their cash in any location. Down to the exact lane number, cashier and time of transaction. This smart retail technology enables businesses to make smarter decisions regarding their cash.
Too much in a till? An alert lets a manager know to take cash from the drawer. About to run out of a certain amount? Cash management technology in the form of intelligent cash drawers provide that visibility, too. How about when a customer is short-changed? A cashier receives an alert and can correct the mistake on the spot. Not to mention that cash loss at the point of sale is nearly eradicated since every transaction is visible. When employees know that management, including those based remotely, have full, cloud-based visibility of their cash, cash theft is much less likely to occur.
Finally, a cash management trend that doesn’t get top-3 billing but is worth mentioning is this: Many retailers are still “wowed” by cash management technology – whether a legacy cash handling solution, such as a count-by-weight cash counter, or innovative intelligent cash drawers. The simplicity of adding a bill to a cash counter and watching the amount increase immediately still impresses people who haven’t been exposed to the benefits that cash management provides.
Cash isn’t going away any time soon. Its use is alive and well and because of this, businesses will always look for ways of improving their cash handling processes.
So, what’s on the horizon for your business in 2018? Are you hoping to reduce or reallocate labor hours, drive efficiency, or gain improved visibility of the cash in your organization? Or is it to reduce internal theft of eliminate cash loss through cashier error?
There are so many available options that you might not even know where to start looking. Download The Cash Management Jungle Ebook for a better understanding of cash handling tools that can help your business grow and thrive this year.
Sink or swim: Retail automation is here to stay