Powerful analytics software is now providing operational insight and visibility far beyond transactional data; it is providing a platform for HR, IT, loss prevention and treasury to derive value apart from the monetary value of the payments themselves. How will automation technology affect retail?
Retailers have until recently relied heavily on in-house developed systems for monitoring and analyzing cash transactional data. They’ve kept tabs on the movement of cash into their till and into their bank accounts but have missed the wealth of data by not monitoring the path and treatment of cash within their organization.
Retailers are keenly aware of the cost of each transaction conducted via credit and debit cards in their business as the cost structure can be monitored and forecasted across large enterprises with relative ease. In contrast, the cost of cash is not as easily monitored, optimized and forecasted.
Of note, a recent study conducted by the IHL Group revealed that retailers, whether they take in a small or large percentage of physical currency, process cash at the same average rate of nine cents per dollar a transaction. The percentage sacrificed to cash management is largely associated with human costs, such as balancing tills, preparing deposits and transporting currency. These costs are more often than not accepted as the cost of doing business, as they represent common day to day tasks of employees. However, the time spent by loss prevention and treasury investigating discrepancies at the point of sale (POS), cash-in-transit (CIT) manifests or in their bank accounts drain valuable resources from the organization.
Cash Management Industry Advances
In recent years, cash management tools have developed beyond simple safe-keeping functions. For example, cash acceptors equipped with counting sensors and validation technology are now sophisticated cloud-based software solutions that reduce losses, save time on back office duties and deposits, as well as deliver a verifiable return on investment with an industry-wide acceptance rate of approximately 95 percent. Some of these functions include:
- Preventing counterfeiting
- Capturing inaccuracies
- Saving time
- Streamlining cash handling operations
- Reducing profit loss
Whether it’s external cash management associated with currency logistics such as CIT or provisional credit from banks – these advanced systems allow businesses of all sizes to manage working capital more effectively.
The Future of Cash: Retail Automation Technology
Trends in cash management technology indicate that analytics software currently under development is less likely to focus solely on cash. Instead, integrating physical currency information with data collected from cashless payments will combine to serve as a powerful solution that offers merchants ‘end-to-end’ visibility of all payment transactions.
Moving currency away from manual transactions that puts the retailer at high risk of human error and loss of profit, and moving toward automated systems with complex analytics, predictive artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing that puts retailers in control of their cash handling operation is the future of the payments industry.
These changes reflect the wider digital transformation occurring in all industries. In this sense, powerful analytics software is quickly becoming essential and it won’t be long before it is an integral part of all major retailers’ operations.
Retailers, CIT operators and other cash-intensive businesses can learn more about the newest trends in cash management at The Anti-Counterfeit and Cash Management Expo. Free to attend, the conference is set for Nov. 6-8 in Las Vegas. Click here to learn more about the conference and claim your free pass.
To learn more about the evolution of cash management solutions, download Dollars Go Digital: How Cash Management Technology is Poised to Level the Analytical Playing Field. The document details the costs associated with transactions across the retail spectrum and the proactive, data-driven solutions that can optimize the movement of cash across every stakeholder in the internal and external cash cycle.
About the Author
Dr. Rory Herriman is the Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Software and Digital Systems at SUZOHAPP. SUZOHAPP is a financial technology company providing software and hardware for cash handling automation and self-service solutions to more than 25,000 customers throughout the world. SUZOHAPP’s technology enables automation for customers operating in a variety of end markets including retail, transportation, gaming, banking, vending and amusement. SUZOHAPP’s solutions include cash deposit, recycling, processing and payment systems as well as a broad range of self-service component technologies. SUZOHAPP’s more than 1,100 employees operate in 19 countries and dealer networks cover more than 100 countries. Visit www.suzohapp.com for more information.