In an era of pick your favorite payment – plastic, contactless or mobile wallet, just to name a few – it may seem like cash is hanging on for dear life. The death of cash seems to be the general theme if you are to believe the headlines, but perception is far from reality, as numerous polls and surveys reveal that cash remains the most frequently used currency of them all, particularly for purchases that are for $10 or less.
But what about coins? Do they still have a seat at the currency counter? You better believe they do, evidenced by the quarters, nickels and dimes jangling in pockets and machines stationed in grocery stores around the country.
On the surface, it may not seem like coins are used with any regularity. After all, they don't buy much given their rather pecuniary worth, and are primarily used to make change when the cost of merchandise doesn't quite match the $1s, $5s, $10s and $20s consumers exchange at checkouts.
"55% of Americans stop to pick up pennies."
However, there really is something to be said for a penny for your thoughts. According to a recent poll conducted by YouGov, a majority of respondents said they do in fact stop for pennies when they see them lying on the ground, and nearly 90% indicated as much for coinage in general.
At the same time, though, coins aren't exactly convenient to use for everyday payments. If you're a "Seinfeld" fan, you may recall when Kramer – Jerry's rather quirky neighbor from across the hall – decided to pay for three calzones entirely in change at Paisano's Pizza. Let's just say it didn't go over too well with the impatient owner. It is therefore not a surprise that most Americans would much rather pay with bills.
Consumer Coin Deposit Machines
Conveniently found in many grocery store locations, self-service coin equipment enables anyone to quickly and seamlessly exchange pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters for paper bills or a store credit for a small fee. Many appreciate this convenient alternative to manually rolling coin and bringing it to the bank.
But what's in it for the grocers? If they contract with an outsider, the coin is managed externally but then the business proposition is purely a marketing one. If they operate their own consumer deposit machine, they reap the financial benefits but need to contend with how to manage the coin generated. Is it worth it? Just ask Piggly Wiggly Sanford. They took the process in-house, and gained the rewards after reviewing all of the options for coin management. These include:
1. Loose Coin Recyclers
Coin may be added to coin recyclers from change orders, or consumer coin deposit machines. When this is used, cashiers may receive and turn in loose coin unattended. ROI is achieved by reducing cashier time to count down issued or returned tills, verification of coin turn-in, and labor to reset start bank coin. Generally, coin recycler machines are expensive to acquire and support, but this is offset by these lower labor requirements.
2. Loose Coin In-Out machines
These are a less expensive alternative to coin recyclers. Cashiers may receive and turn-in loose coin unattended. That said, unlike coin recyclers, labor must be added for lead cashiers to manage coin in-out inventory for this equipment.
3. Coin Count Roll Desks
These are the least expensive option, which use back-office staff to count coin with a coin sorter or counter, or measure it with a coin scale and then turn in cash to a customer service cashier who adds the coin value in the till management application. ROI is achieved by reducing the time to count down turn-in, and labor is added to allow for coin rolling.
If your retail grocery is self-managing coin sorting machines and evaluating options, it should be done in consultation with all stakeholders. Whichever method you choose for coin management, however, the potential ROI can pay substantial dividends. At BranchServ, we may be most familiar with financial institutions, but we have a thorough understanding of the retail space in general and grocery specifically via our cash recycler installations. Our expertise extends to coin management. Contact us today for a free consultation.