What is an intelligent cash drawer?

Justin Ray TellermateIf, you attended NRF Retail’s Big Show this year you would have been hard pressed to miss the excitement around intelligent cash drawers. For those who stayed closer to home, there’s still an inescapable buzz around this year’s breakthrough cash management technology as an increasing number of businesses buy into the promise of reduced cash losses and more streamlined operations. But if like many others, you’re still not certain what an intelligent cash drawer is or why you might need one; let me explain how they work, and more importantly, how they can work for your business…

What is an intelligent cash drawer?

An intelligent cash drawer is essentially a cash drawer that knows exactly how much is inside it at any one time. The drawer looks, feels and operates like a standard cash drawer, but houses smart technology that counts cash as it enters and leaves the drawer by weighing it.

For many businesses, having this real-time visibility of their cash is invaluable. Cashier mistakes can be flagged and corrected instantly, the temptation for employees to steal money from the till is reduced significantly and the arduous task of closing out at the end of a shift can be sped up, or even removed completely. Plus, the data produced by these devices can be used to spot trends, investigate discrepancies and even inform cash management processes.

Introducing LiveDrawer

T-ice Intelligent Cash DrawerTellermate were the pioneers of weight-based cash counting technology over 30 years ago, and have been developing ground-breaking solutions in this sector ever since. Our intelligent cash drawer is quite simply a weight-based money counting technology housed within an expertly designed cash drawer. This means that cash is counted in situ, in real-time, as each transaction takes place.

The drawer comes in two versions, the flip top and the sliding drawer, and is currency customizable. Plus, with cups to hold both bills and coins, the drawer set up can be altered to suit each organization’s preference. All this means that for operators, it’s business as usual. But, behind the scenes the differences are quite remarkable.

Data from LiveDrawer is collected and manipulated to provide not just a full audit trail of all your cash, but to create detailed reports, spot trends or alert managers when skims are needed, or even when change is running low.

How does it work?

Put simply, LiveDrawer works by weighing each denomination within the drawer and then using this weight to calculate the number of coins or bills it holds.

It does this by using incredibly sensitive load cells which are built into the in the bottom of the drawer. On top of these load cells a number of plastic “cups” are placed to hold both coins and bills. The weight of each cup is then measured by the load cells and the equation of total weight divided by the standard weight for each coin or bill is calculated. The information is then used to determine the number of coins or bills in each compartment, giving you a real-time measurement of exactly how much cash the drawer is holding at any one time. The technology is so accurate, it can even be used to count coupons. This data is then collected and sent to your cash management software almost instantly via a serial or USB connection.

Yet, despite all the complex technology, T-ice is a relatively inexpensive solution for businesses looking to improve their cash management, reduce shrink, generate a full audit trail of their cash and eliminate the need for time-consuming manual processes.

How could it work for your business?

It’s not just your cashiers that will benefit from using an intelligent cash drawer. The alerts, data and reporting generated by LiveDrawer means that the wider business, everyone from Loss Prevention to H.R, will be able to benefit from this revolutionary technology.

For Loss Prevention, real-time POS and cash drawer integration will help identify any possible discrepancies between individual POS transaction and drawer cash in/cash out. In short, LiveDrawer delivers real-time notifications of incorrect transactions as they occur, so instant action can be taken to prevent further cash loss.

This will help mitigate some of the most common forms of cash loss, including, when cash is taken from the drawer during no-sale or override transactions, or when incorrect change is given by a cashier. Plus, reportable data for each drawer, cashier and transaction means that you are able to identify cashier trends such as error rate or the frequency of refund transactions.

And, as the data that LiveDrawer produces shows a transaction by transaction reconciliation by operator, the time taken to investigate a loss is reduced significantly; given that you can now see exactly which operator was operating the drawer at the time of loss, the time of the loss, and most importantly the transactions immediately before and after the loss.

But LiveDrawer’s ability to reduce shrink goes beyond mitigating cash handling errors. Cashiers who use the LiveDrawer cash drawer will have less opportunity to, and arguably be less inclined to steal. Plus, the psychological impact of knowing that every transaction you make is tracked and scrutinized in real-time often leads to greater diligence by cashiers. Just ask our customers.

For Operations professionals, the benefits of an intelligent cash drawer are just as impressive.

When it comes to shift change time, the process of closing lanes so that cashiers can count their cash drawer will become a thing of the past with LiveDrawer. With the transaction by transaction reconciliation, operators can simply log on and off the drawer at shift change time, safe in the knowledge that any discrepancies would have already been flagged. This means that cashiers can remain on the shop floor until the end of their shift, no longer needing to leave 10-15 minutes early to count their drawer. Also, as the drawer will no longer need to be removed from the shop floor at all during the day, security is enhanced. The security headache of cashiers carrying overflowing cash drawers through a busy shop floor will be mitigated.

But that’s not all. The data produced by LiveDrawer will also allow your business to monitor coin usage, alerting managers when each denomination is running low. This can help support operators and optimize coin orders to increase efficiency.

Your Finance department will be able to see a clear impact on your bottom line. With LiveDrawer, savings are generated not just through the correction of cash handling errors, but through the reduction of time and labor costs associated with reconciling cash at the end of each shift, or investigating losses.

Plus, for the drawer operators themselves, LiveDrawer is an incredibly helpful tool, allowing cash handling errors to be identified and corrected at source. This reduces the stress on the operators and protects them from customer disputes relating to being short-changed. Your H.R. department will love that.

How does LiveDrawer integrate with my current cash management solutions?

Despite its innovative technology, LiveDrawer is extremely easy to integrate. The actual drawer is a similar size to many standard cash drawers, so may be able to be integrated into your existing furniture with little, if any modification. Plus, LiveDrawer can be easily integrated into most existing cash management systems and software for a seamless transition. And, if you’re wondering how LiveDrawer interacts with your other cash management devices; when the drawer is combined with other cash management solutions such as our smart safes, LiveDrawer is able to provide a full overview of cash by reconciling cash across the two devices. This eliminates the need for managers to skim cash from overflowing drawers as any excess cash can be added to the smart T-safe yet still be fully accounted for by the intelligent cash drawer.

This will save time, reduce losses and give a detailed audit trail of your cash, creating a full cash management solution. Pretty smart right?

Learn more about how Tellermate’s intelligent cash drawer can work for your business.Click here to find out more.

Tellermate LiveDrawer Intelligent Cash Drawer

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