Smart Safe Technology - Cassette or Bag?

No, this isn't about a bag that looks like a cassette (that's a cassette tape for any of you too young to remember). We're talking about the collection methods used by smart safes to collect and store cash.  All smart safe devices are designed to accept cash deposits but they use different methods to store cash for withdrawal and transport. Here's a look at the options available when comparing models.

Smart safes are "intelligent" deposit solutions make cash deposits more visible by communicating information about your cash inventory to you, your bank and/or your cash-in-transit service. They can be installed at the point of sale or in a back office to bring security and accountability to managing cash in a retail environment. Retailers love them because they reduce the time employees and managers spend counting and sorting cash which means more time for staff to do work that adds value to the business.

Canvas Bag

Canvas bags are typically used in countries where there are primarily low-value notes in circulation. This means there are a high numbers bills in circulation so cash-in-transit services routinely transport large volumes of cash. A canvas bag can be re-used and has simple but effective features to make sure that notes cannot be fished during transportation.

Normally, every time the bag is emptied, a new bar code is attached that clearly identifies the owner of the cash. Usually, the bag can only be opened once it's inserted into a deposit safe and can be removed only when it is sealed.

Loose Note Plastic Bag

Models with loose note plastic storage feature single-use bags so there's a lower chance of encountering damaged bags. The tamper-evident features of these bags make it obvious if the bag has been manipulated or someone has tried to access it.  And just like canvas bags, they limit exposure to cash by auto-sealing inside the safe and only allowing access once the bag has been sealed.

But both of these solutions deliver loose notes that must be prepared into stacks before they can be sorted and counted by cash processing machines at a cash center. It's a process than can take up to 10 minutes per 1,000 notes and adds to a retailer's cash in transit costs

ATM Cassette

Some smart safe devices have ATM-compatible cassettes that close the cash cycle within the store by allowing cash to be moved from the deposit safe to an in-store ATM. However, the majority of banks require that cash be processed in a certified cash center before it can be dispensed into an ATM. So, you run the risk of not being able to exploit benefit of a closed cash loop.

Deposit Cassette

Deposit cassettes are the most deployed technology for vending devices and low-end slow deposit solutions. As with any cassette, notes are stacked. But plastic cassettes don't always hold up to rough handling by armored truck personnel and tend to break more often, resulting extra maintenance costs.

Best of Both

Another option, a stacked note plastic bag, is exactly what it sounds like. It combines all the benefits of single-use plastic bags with the orderliness found in stacked note cassettes. Features like auto-sealing limit exposure to cash so the withdrawal process is faster, easier and more secure. And because the bags are tamper-evident and use unique barcodes, they provide high levels of security during transport.

When a retailer delivers stacked notes to the cash processing center, it translates to significant cost savings in cash center fees since the cash doesn't need to be prepared for processing.

There are positives and negatives to all of these collection methods. Understanding which smart safe solutions and features are more adapted to your market is key to making the right choice for your retail business.