You can’t ignore the fact that cash deposits are still a significant driver of branch traffic. Or the fact that a large portion of a typical branch operating budget is dominated by labor expenses. These facts form the reality that cash management activities have a direct impact on labor requirements and expenses.
Cash brings customers to the branch, but at what cost? You need the customers but cash transactions are expensive. When transaction volume is down, each transaction costs even more. And the more time and labor required, the higher the transaction cost.
How do you break the cycle? Can you lower the cost and increase the profitability of each transaction? Automating cash handling allows you to do both. Cash automation redefines cash handling by making the transaction about the customer — not the cash.
Turn low-value work into a valuable opportunity
Devices like cash recyclers process cash faster and more accurately than a teller— think sorting, counting, recounting, balancing and end of day procedures. These tedious tasks keep tellers focused on cash. Recyclers reduce dual control procedures that tie up the most expensive staff (managers and head tellers) and make balancing more efficient and accurate.
When tellers are focused on cash, they’re not focused on customers. It’s an expensive arrangement that just doesn’t make sense anymore.
When you can eliminate mundane activities like counting, recounting, sorting and orienting cash, you reduce the overall transaction time. But more importantly, the time you have can be used to build customer relationships and sell your financial products and services.
Whether financial institutions use cash recyclers to improve teller efficiency, increase productivity or to reduce labor and other operating costs, the approach is the same. Cash recyclers automate existing cash processes and workflows. For instance, recyclers may replace cash drawers on the teller line or be used in more innovative applications like teller pods or open branch layouts to better meet customer needs. But these are just a few of the possibilities.
The fact is, recyclers fundamentally change how cash is managed. These devices not only resolve security and accountability problems inherent to cash, they redefine the entire cash handling process and potentially, the entire branch experience.
This is all to say that when cash is so completely secured at the point of use and under digital control, there’s no need for traditional constructs like physical barriers and dual control processes. Banks and credit unions are free to explore the possibilities
Banks need to evaluate the services that still drive branch traffic. Then they can focus on out how to attract customers by making the branch the preferred channel to receive those services.