By : Anna Wasicka
January 09, 2019 08:00 AM
Digital transformation and the growth of the mobile channel may have been two of the defining financial services industry trends of recent years, but what is becoming increasingly clear is that traditional banking platforms and payment methods - such as ATMs and cash - still have a key role to play in the financial ecosystem.
Indeed, a recent report from the European Central Bank showed that cash was the dominant payment instrument at points of sale (POS) across the euro area in 2016. Nearly eight out of ten POS transactions (79 percent) were completed using cash, compared to 19 percent that used a payment card.
For financial institutions (FIs), one of the key takeaways from this is that it is just as important as ever to find the right cash management strategy. Efficient monitoring and control of the distribution of cash across your network of ATMs, branches and vaults will help your business to manage costs and provide the best possible availability to customers.
As NCR explored in a recent white paper, one of the most powerful tools for optimizing cash management and reducing the costs of keeping currency in circulation is cash recycling.
According to figures from Retail Banking Research, the global ATM install base in 2016 included more than 1.1 million deposit-enabled machines, 692,000 of which were cash recyclers. Cash recycling is most common in Asia Pacific markets - owing to the high volumes of cash in this region - while the global picture suggests that cash recycling is the fastest growing segment of the ATM market worldwide.
This suggests an increasing number of FIs are recognizing the clear advantages that can be gained from using cash recyclingATMs.
Customer choice and convenience
By investing in cash recycling ATMs, banks can provide easy access to withdrawal and deposit services and the best possible cash availability for consumers.
Furthermore, business customers can deposit large bunches of cash with maximum speed and efficiency.
Higher efficiency, lower costs
Incorporating cash recycling into your self-service network can reduce the volumes of 'idle' cash distributed across your ATMs and branches.
Taking this automated approach reduces costs for the Financial Institution by optimizing the cash in transit cycle. Recycling solutions allows the risk reduction by providing a secure way of storing cash and a more reliable cash audit trail.
Improved branch performance
The skilled, experienced branch staff in your workforce are likely to be most productive when they are engaging with customers, starting worthwhile conversations and nurturing sales leads.
Cash recycling reduces the need for branch employees to dedicate time to routine tasks such as filling and monitoring ATMs, meaning they have more time to focus on delivering a valuable, personalized and mutually beneficial service to customers.
Increased automation of cash management means a reduced need for human interaction with physical cash, which lowers the risk of human error and vulnerability to attacks by criminals.
Furthermore, cash recycling helps to address the risks of having too much cash on hand, as well as mitigating the potential drawbacks of infrequent ATM cash and transaction balancing.
The future of the self-service channel?
It's clear that cash recycling has the potential to have a transformative impact on ATM performance and self-service banking, delivering mutual advantages for FIs and customers.
Those banks that invest in a comprehensive, integrated approach - where cash recycling hardware is twinned with the right software and backed up by consulting services - will be in the strongest position to achieve tangible gains from this solution.