Cash is a lot of things — but secure isn’t one of them. Because it’s so vulnerable to theft, cash is a huge risk to manage, store and secure. It’s visible, exposed, easy to grab and stealing it is often just a matter of opportunity. Unfortunately, bank tellers know the reality of this all too well.
According to the FBI, bank robberies are most common between the hours of 9 am and 11 am. In 2015 alone, more than 90 percent of robberies targeted the teller counter, and 44 percent were reported to have involved a firearm. Tellers are on the front lines of these battles.
Statistics like these drive security measures like armed guards, alarms, cameras and and dye packs. But even with all these efforts, bank operations and managers are left wondering, is it enough? Is there something else we can be doing to protect our employees and secure our assets? There is.
Heritage Family Credit Union in Vermont experienced a string of robberies at their branches a few years ago. Frustrated by the physical and emotional toll on branches and staff, they looked for ways to enhance security and deter robberies.
“We wanted to make a safer environment for employees and get cash out of the drawers,” said Matt Levandowski, CEO of Heritage Family. “[Cash recyclers] help mitigate the chance of robbery at any location and it helps keep everyone safe.”
Teller cash recyclers (TCRs) are electronic devices that completely replace the cash drawer at a teller workstation. Tellers control cash dispense and deposits with a software command. The device automatically counts and sorts cash dispenses and deposits and stores cash in between transactions in a certified safe. No one can access or even see the cash without issuing a software command.
Aside from the fact that the recycler doubles as a secure vault, here are just a few ways that teller cash recyclers add an extra layer of security:
They keep cash out of sight.
Cash is frequently exposed during daily branch operations. Every time cash is visible — in an open drawer, moving to and from the vault, or outside the drawer during balancing — it’s more vulnerable. Recyclers close the cash loop by reducing how often cash is out in the open.
The built-in safe is essentially a secure vault at each workstation. A teller’s entire cash inventory is no longer visible during cash transactions. Drawer limits serve to reduce the amount of cash stored in an unsecured drawer at any given time. But if cash is secured, drawer limits are unnecessary. With adequate cash inventory and no drawer limits, vault buys and sells are significantly reduced or even eliminated. And the same goes for drawer counting and balancing. A recycler keeps itself in balance by keeping an electronic record of every transaction.
Theft is often a case of opportunity. Recyclers deter potential thieves by reducing that opportunity to grab exposed cash.
They have your back.
Cash recyclers are equipped to interface with the alarm systems installed in your branch. In addition, a recycler can be programmed to respond to alarm trigger. For instance, a silent alarm trigger can issue a command to the recycler to dispense a preset amount of cash. It allows a teller to quickly satisfy a robbery demand without exposing the entire cash inventory. Let them take the money and run, so to speak.
Most importantly, they give people peace of mind.
Recyclers eliminate the anxiety for tellers in having a full cash drawer. Customers (and potential robbers) can see that tellers just can’t hand over stacks of cash. Keeping cash out of sight reduces temptation and makes cash less of an easy target. Or as Levandowski shared, “[We] can’t stop everything but this is one step in the right direction.”
Management at Heritage Family summed up the security benefits of cash recyclers nicely with “We [now] have the resources and technology to make branches safer for our employees and members and that’s all that matters.”