How smart is your safe? 'Smart' tech takes over banking industry

You've heard of the smartphone, perhaps even the new smartwatch, but the smart safe? That's right - "smart" technology has taken over the banking industry, creating more streamlined and efficient solutions for companies across the country.

The smart safe - or a safe that accepts electronic deposits, counts cash on its own and shares that information with the bank - has the ability to revolutionize the banking industry. Smart safes are one more piece of technology in a growing line of of innovations, including pod design and cash recyclers. The changes are born out of the idea that there has to be some way - any way - to count cash more effectively than by hand.

"Less handled cash equals reduced risk."

That goal has created the smart safe, and it could be the right addition to your bank today.

What does a smart safe actually do?
You may be asking what's the real function of a smart safe. The individual features of a smart safe depend on the manufacturer, but there are a few broad elements that elevate a plain-old safe into a smart safe. 

For starters, a smart safe is plugged in. It is connected to both a power source and the Internet. Ideally, your smart safe will be part of your bank's network, so you can share cash totals and receive deposit amounts from the safe itself. You want to be able to remotely deposit cash into the safe, perform basic transactions and check balances. 

In some cases, banks pair with armored carriers to utilize smart safes, explained Joan Brancaccio, product management executive with Bank of America. Since you make that remote deposit, someone has to collect the actual cash. The carrier can do that, while you don't have to manually count the cash and place it in the safe, since that step is now electronic.

How are smart safes beneficial?
Similar to cash recyclers, smart safes provide immediate benefits to the bank and its employees.

Brancaccio highlighted several. These positives include:

  • Safety - Employees won't have to handle as much physical cash anymore, reducing risk.
  • Accuracy - Electronic deposits are more accurate and reduce the likelihood of human error when counting cash.
  • Speed - Remote deposits can be accessed quickly, which means you can have increased cash flow across a greater geographic footprint.
  • Data - Smart safes instantly provide a cash update to the bank, so you'll have rapid feedback about your money totals.

Given the benefits, it is understandable that more banks and merchants are looking into smart safe technology. Whether or not this option is right for you, stay on the lookout for ways to reduce risk and streamline the amount of cash handled by your day-to-day employees.