Here's something straight out of the "I bet you didn't know" department: Approximately 75% of Americans, despite the smorgasbord of payment options that are available for them to use, spend with cash each and every day. That's according to recent findings from Cardtronics, a statistic that belies some of the common misconceptions about our financial ecosystem.
Some might contend it has to do with a booming economy, but this was the case even when the global economy wasn't nearly as strong as it is today. As the ATM Industry Association reported at the time, cash demand between 2009 and 2013 rose at three times the rate of economic growth for 30 of the world's advanced and developing nations.
"The almighty dollar loses its might for FIs without ATMs and cash recyclers to manage the load."
In short, cash remains the undisputed king, and every king needs his court – which, in the context of financial institutions, is comprised primarily of ATMs and cash recyclers.
ATMs and ITMs continue to manage a good percentage of interactions involving the deposit or withdrawal of cash at most banks and credit unions. Subsequently, due to increasing demand, close to 66% of banking professionals intend to increase the number of ATMs they have, as reported by ATM Marketplace.
But what about in-branch customer interactions with tellers or universal bankers? While self-service certainly remains popular, consumers still reserve some business for in-branch, particularly the kind associated with financial advice, as Samsung found. The ramifications of cash in the context of these transactions is gaining greater attention as banks and credit unions increasingly adopt open-concept architecture and redefine roles within the branch. The issues of cost, security and service specifically have moved to the forefront of the collective conscience of the banking industry.
Some FIs may ask if they can afford cash recycling technology. The more pertinent question is whether they can afford not to adopt recycling in their branches.
Handling money costs money. Subsequently, labor costs are a significant component of the operational expenses incurred by banks and credit unions nationwide. And these costs are on an upward trajectory, as evidenced by the recent announcement made by Bank of America regarding its intention to increase teller compensation to $20 per hour, NPR reported.
Implementing cash recycling increases efficiencies at the branch level, decreasing transaction times and allowing for labor savings and/or the redirection of personnel to cross-selling or upselling activity. While the technology requires upfront investment, the long-term payback can be significant, particularly from a standpoint of strengthening customer relationships.
Open-concept banking, while undeniably effective and the wave of the future, has its inherent weaknesses, perhaps none more obvious than security. After all, though you may trust your customers and employees implicitly, expanded systems must be in place to deter theft when cash is no longer kept behind the counter.
Lock-and-key safes built into cash recyclers and cassette monitoring allow for unparalleled security that keeps track of each and every bill that gets loaded into the unit. This tallying capability also provides an extra layer of due diligence by ensuring that the currency is 100% accounted for, sparing you from having to count out the bank notes one by one. Some recyclers have automated audit capabilities that preclude cash removal and subsequently reduce risk.
Makes more personalized customer service possible
Detractors of automation contend that the technology will spell the demise of the traditional branch by removing the human touch that branches do best. That's simply not the case. As several studies have shown, including one done by Accenture Research, 20% of U.S. adults pop in to their branch on a weekly basis, with an even greater portion of Generation Z – nearly 25% – doing the same.
Why? Because they often require customer service that they can't get from online or automated banking alone. However, thanks to the functionalities of today's cash recyclers, banking professionals can provide the kind of signature services that no machine – no matter how advanced – can replicate, with a focus on customer need versus counting cash. This ensures an increasingly customized one-on-one branch experience with opportunities to make those consumer relationships both deeper and broader.
Holistic banking necessitates an all-hands-on-deck approach. There isn't any one contributor that's more important than the rest. Each relies upon the other. Adding or upgrading your ATMs can enhance your financial institutions' capabilities. The LTA-350 from BranchServ can help your FI succeed on all fronts by increasing efficiency, security and – perhaps above all else – results, giving your team a leg up on the competition. Please contact us to arrange a free demonstration. Prepare to be wowed.