Bank of America is piloting an in-store cash management hardware device for retailers that counts and secures bank notes and communicates the information directly to the bank, allowing funds to be credited in accounts.
The patent-pending in-store system consists of a cash-handling device located in the client's back office that accepts, counts and secures cash. The device communicates directly with Bank of America, so funds can be credited to the retailer's deposit accounts, even while the currency is still in store locations.
"Managing cash is enormously important to retailers but historically is expensive, time-consuming and prone to error and fraud," says Cathy Bessant, president of Bank of America global roduct Solutions. "This in-store cash handling solution has the potential to revolutionise how retailers do business."
The system also provides CFOs and treasurers with a comprehensive, real-time view of receipts across all payment types - including cash, cheque and card transactions - in multiple physical locations and geographies, says the bank. Retailers will also be able to withdraw currency from the device - and therefore from their accounts - as and when needed.
The device is currently being trialled by national restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, which is using the hardware in select store locations. The chain expects to begin using the rapid recognition capability within the next few weeks expects to begin
Chick-fil-A says the system will improve employee safety and reduces the amount of time staff spend handling cash.
Phillip Barrett, VP and controller, Chick- fil-A, adds: "Receiving credit for funds that are physically in the store gives us better visibility into our cash position enterprise-wide and quicker access to capital."
Bank of America says it expects the in-store cash handling system to be available to its business and corporate clients in the first half of 2008.