Bigger and faster isn't always better when it comes to cash recyclers.

When it comes to cash recyclers, there's big and there's too big. When selecting a cash recycler, the right choice is the device that meets the needs of your particular cash environment.

Inadequate capacity can cause workarounds that erode any efficiency gains. On the other hand, surplus capacity encourages staff to stockpile cash and keep too much of a non-performing asset. And isn’t efficient cash management the key to cash recycler ROI

So what is the right capacity? It depends. Understanding your cash volumes as well as the manual processes surrounding your cash flow is critical to determine your ideal note capacity.

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Sole control custody, segregated storage and dual custody cash procedures are just a few of the manual processes that limit the ability to accurately manage cash inventory. In an attempt to control shrink and limit theft, these practices sacrifice inventory control for accountability.

But once you understand the limitations imposed by manual cash handling, calculating the appropriate capacity for a cash recycler becomes far more academic. The adage “you can never have too much of a good thing” just doesn’t ring true in the case of cash on hand and cash recycler capacity. By storing currency centrally in a cash recycler with detailed electronic journal capabilities, banks and retailers can eliminate redundant denominational inventory without compromising audit and security.

"The goal of cash recycling isn’t to store as much cash as possible — it is to store only the cash you need and not a dollar more. On average, financial institutions and retailers reduce average cash on hand by 25% - 40% after implementing recycler technology."

There’s fast and there’s too fast

A cash recycler’s speed of acceptance is important, but so is accuracy, length of bill path, simplicity and escrow design.

When a bill is deposited to a recycler, its journey includes a pass through a reader module (to check for note authenticity), numerous changes of direction and a brief stop at escrow, before finally being deposited to the cassette. The device must be able to move a bill through the bill path to the intended denomination cassette without causing a jam or miscount. Frequent jams and miscounts slow the overall transaction speed.

When researching a recycler, you should understand how note authentication works. Reader modules vary wildly on the number of unique banknote characteristics they measure and this has a direct impact on recycler speed and accuracy. Long bill paths take more time and increase stoppage and error rates. Ideally, the bill path will be short with the bill making a limited number of directional changes. While there are some positives to physical escrow, it brings unnecessary complexity to the bill path. And it doubles the risk of errors because the entire process is repeated before the note is finally deposited. 

Outbound speed is important when moving cash from the unit to the vault. In the United States, cash must be strapped to comply with the law.  So a flow that supports strapping in 100-note increments is ideal. Notes piling up beyond 100 will overwhelm the teller, requiring a recount and adding a delay.

It seems counterintuitive, but excessive speed in this situation can actually slow down processes. The ideal outbound speed delivers 100 notes and stops. The teller can grab and strap and by the time he is finished, another stack of notes is delivered and ready for strapping.

Appropriate speed, high accuracy, low rejection rates, simplified virtual escrow and a short bill path are important factors to understand about any cash recycler model. The more you understand these features and how they impact your particular needs to more likely you are to make the right choice for your business.