By : Cleopatra Mavredis
August 30, 2016 08:00 AM
Effective replenishment services are crucial for ensuring there is enough cash within branches and ATMs to meet customer demands. How financial institutions (FIs) track the amount of cash they have on the premises varies from bank to bank.
Many organizations use basic tools, such as spreadsheets, to manage their cash replenishment methods. However, there are a number of drawbacks to this approach, which is why fully automated software platforms often provide a more comprehensive approach.
Here are some of the ways that an innovative cash replenishment solution can drive performance at FIs.
1. Lower costs
There are a multitude of costs associated with maintaining cash inventories, including the expenses incurred when storing, transporting and insuring money stockpiles.
FIs must therefore strike a delicate balance between having too much or too little money on-site to control these costs. Sophisticated software can help analyze data from self-service devices and other infrastructure data sources to develop accurate forecasts and replenishment strategies based on current capacities and service constraints.
NCR figures estimate that banks can save approximately $1,000 per ATM and $2,000 per branch annually if they use platforms to optimize how they handle cash inventories.
2. Boost customer satisfaction
Banks that fail to have enough cash on-site to meet demand also suffer reputational damage in addition to the direct costs of storing and replenishing money.
Disgruntled customers who aren't able to make withdrawals are more likely to switch providers and warn friends and family about their negative experiences. The enterprise-grade modelling and forecasting functionality embedded in intelligent cash replenishment solutions prevent these issues from arising.
By monitoring real-time balances, FIs are well prepared to prevent cash outages and ATM downtime, resulting in better customer retention and word-of-mouth promotion.
3. Reduce errors
Organizations can include simple automation features and error-detection formulae into their spreadsheets, yet they are often lacking any complex systems to limit the number of mistakes made.
Human error is an unavoidable cost of doing business, but FIs can maximize their defenses using fully integrated software tools. Best-of-breed platforms automatically import and validate data, while also passing relevant information on to clients' systems.
Even operator mistakes that can't be prevented are accurately detected and recorded to ensure accountability. Overall, the cost and efficiency savings accrued from mitigating errors can be considerable.
4. Expecting the unexpected
Many different factors can affect demand for cash at an ATM or branch, such as the weather, popular local events and the opening or closing of competitor outlets, to name a few.
Spreadsheets and other basic tools can cope with cash replenishment requirements up to a point, but they’ll never have the pinpoint tracking and forecasting abilities necessary to cope with unforeseen occurrences as well as the complexities that are associated with forecasting advanced devices, such as recyclers
Software that automates business processes can arrange flexible schedules for the restocking of money inventories so as to minimize the need for emergency visits and potential ATM downtime when unusual events occur.
Investing in the right solutions
Cash remains a vital part of the payments process. A recent study from Blackhawk Network revealed 87 percent of Americans paid for goods and services with cash within the last year, making it the most popular payment method.
It is therefore crucial that FIs optimize their cash replenishment processes to ensure availability and minimize the costs associated with having the wrong quantities of money across their branches and ATMs.