How Do Teller Cash Recyclers Optimize Branch Staffing?

This is a polite way of asking, ‘Can I eliminate a teller position?’ The short
 answer is maybe.

According to an FMSI Retail Branch study, the retail banking sector has seen a 45.3% decrease in branch transaction volumes and a 90.1% increase in salary and benefit rates over the past two decades. Both of these factors have driven the average labor cost per transaction up by 133.3%. Of course, labor is a huge operating cost that banks struggle to control.

Research suggests that with a cash recycler, two employees can do the work of three. In traditional branch environments, constraints like peak-hours staffing needs and time-consuming activities like vault buys, make it difficult to schedule teller shifts efficiently. Automating cash processes is a good way to alleviate those constraints.

But, this brings up a more complex question. Should you use cash automation to reduce staff? The knee-jerk answer is yes. However, there is a school of thought that suggests repurposing—not laying off—might be the answer. Experienced employees can be repurposed to add value in revenue-generating activities. After all, you’ve already invested a lot of time and resources hiring and training your staff and they know your products and services.

What do we mean by ‘repurposing’? Perhaps a teller is cross-trained as a loan officer or accounts manager to help alleviate logjams and assure excellent customer service even during peak hours. Or since recyclers virtually eliminate vault transactions, the vault teller is available to jump on the teller line during busy periods or act as greeter when it’s slower. We suppose it’s another way cash recyclers, well… recycle.

The possibilities are endless and the right answer probably depends on the needs and goals of each branch and its customer base.