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Do I Need to Change My Teller Line for Cash Recyclers?

So, you have read articles and blogs, talked to peers, and heard enough success stories to be convinced that you want to move forward with teller cash recyclers in your bank.

You might be asking, now what? Do I need to change my teller line for cash recyclers?

The short answer is no. A more accurate answer is, it depends.

If you're incorporating recyclers into your existing branch layout, it's a retrofit. If recyclers will be part of planning a new branch or you're planning significant changes to an existing branch layout, it's a redesign.

Each option requires a different approach. Let's look at both.

Retrofit

If you're planning to incorporate recyclers into your existing space you're likely asking:

  • Will the existing teller counter need to be altered make room for a recycler?
  • What kind of changes will I need to make to the teller line?
  • How do I figure out how many recyclers I need?

Generally, the goal of a retrofit is to install teller cash recyclers in an existing branch with as few changes to physical structures and processes as possible. The good news is most cash recyclers will fit under standard teller counters. There are models designed to fit under 40” high standing counters and models that fit under standard 30” sitting desks. Many recyclers are also designed to be about the same size and footprint as a standard cash drawer.

In a retrofit, it's not usually a matter of fitting cash recyclers into the space, the real challenge is fitting tellers and workflow to cash recyclers. In a typical teller line, each teller has a personal cash drawer and the entire line has been designed for that setup.  Teller cash recyclers might fit right into existing workstations but they often change the how the workstations themselves need to be arranged. 

Recyclers should be accessible to all potential operators. Most recycler models are designed to be shared by two operators. That means two tellers must come together around a single cash device. Each teller needs to be able to comfortably reach the cash deposit and dispense areas as well as the display screen and perform these repeated physical movements with ease. Automating manual cash processes resolves many repetitive motion issues so it certainly shouldn't introduce new complications.

One solution to the challenge of a shared teller device is a cash recycler designed for one operator. These devices can simply replace each teller drawer unit with little or no modification to the counter or workstation and with minimal effect to workflow.  They provide a simple plug and play solution so banks can see immediate cash automation benefits with little or no structural modifications.

Personal cash recyclers cost less than larger, dual operator models. Even if you need a larger number of personal cash recyclers, the cost of more devices may be offset by what you save by not having to make structural  or workflow changes to make dual use devices work in an existing space.

Redesign

When you're planning a new branch or redesigning an existing one, you have more flexibility - every option is on the table. If you're incorporating cash automation into the design of the branch, you're:

  • Evaluating the impact of cash recycling to branch processes
  • Investigating how to maximize the benefits of automating manual processes
  • Considering innovative concepts such as open branch design and universal bankers

Historically, banks have been designed to support the security and accountability of cash. The teller line was invented to separate cash from customers; imposing structures assured customers their cash was secure.  But that concept of security is outdated. Today, banks are trying to create warm, approachable environments. Concepts like open branches and universal bankers have replaced physical barriers between tellers and customers. But these concepts require flexibility.

Open branch design deemphasizes the teller line and brings associates out from behind the counter to more closely interact with customers at small workstations located throughout the branch. Cash recyclers provide secure storage and access to cash so that tellers can be positioned based on customer needs rather than security demands. They're a critical component of successful open concept branch design. Without their security, speed, accuracy and the ability to have multiple users, executing an open concept branch would be nearly impossible.

Universal bankers are employees who are cross-trained to fill a variety of roles to provide more seamless, efficient, and personalized service. Unlike a teller, a universal banker stationed at a personal pod equipped with cash recycler is able to:

  • Greet customers
  • Perform basic teller transactions
  • Handle service needs
  • Open new accounts
  • Accept loan applications

Whether you redesign your branches or retrofit them for cash recyclers, automating your cash processes should be a central part of any plan to better serve your customers.

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