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Addressing the perennial cost of cash

As the payments space becomes increasingly digitised, we shouldn’t forget the important role that cash still plays in our society. On a global basis both the level of cash in circulation and the value of withdrawals from ATMs remains high, accounting for the bulk of transactions worldwide. Cash currently accounts for 85 per cent of global transactions.However, it’s not a simple business; cash can remain stubbornly expensive. In Europe alone, the cost of handling cash is estimated at €50 billion per year. It’s a perennial challenge we face in our sector.

But does cash really need to be such an expensive operation? Whilst some elements will always remain outside a financial institutions control, surely by combining the correct knowledge and re-designed processes, we can make greater efficiencies and cost savings, easing some of the headaches currently associated with cash handling?

With traditional banks looking to redefine their physical presence, it seems that many within the industry are indeed currently re-evaluating their current cash handling processes and looking at ways to make cash flow cost savings. Getting the right balance between efficiency and availability is crucial not only to customer service, but also to the smooth running of the branch.  

By embracing appropriate technology, banks can benefit from terminals that are automatically replenished with the optimal amount of cash around the clock, with the potential to reduce cash handling costs by over 20 percent. This also gives banks the option to implement self-service zones in their branches, saving time, reducing queues and meeting the ever-demanding needs of the digital consumer. 

There’s no doubt that cash continues to be important in today’s digital society. However, in order to make cash readily available for customers and most importantly, financially viable for the banks themselves, they need to be prepared to re-evaluate their current cash handling processes. Cash doesn’t have to cost the European economy €50 billion per year, and once our banks have embraced the latest industry changes, these costs should be dramatically reduced.

Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 13 August, 2015, 16:24Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Nice post. I've been excited about Retail Currency Management ever since I read a report by an analyst - TowerGroup? - about this technology back in 2009. Six years later, am curious to know how many success stories there are of this technology among retail chains.