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Money, Our Constant Companion

by on 05/02/13 at 1:30 pm
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Money and humans are inseparable. Often there is a shortage but what there is has to be secured. Cash handling systems touch lives around every corner, but in general these systems are taken for granted and are seldom thought about (except for the vast majority of people that handle or recycle cash). Consumers will pay money into a parking machine, use an ATM, deposit cash into the bank or have an evening of entertainment at the casino – resulting in all those in the retail, banking or gaming industries having to handle and secure large amounts of cash.

Cash management systems for businessesThere are various risks involved in handling cash. Apart from the obvious physical security risk, other challenges facing these industries include shrinkages, shortages and money disappearing, especially with the long working hours in retail. The onus is on the business owner or management to safeguard employees and the money. If the process of money flow is considered – money is handed to a teller or cashier who transports it to a back office where it is counted and reconciled, after which it is transported to the bank, counted and reconciled again – it is easy to identify the various points of risk throughout the system. Recycling of money brings about more problems, especially with regards to float management in businesses where large amounts of cashiers need change.

When cash in transit is added to the complicated process, the risks are escalated. In the OSAC Crime and Safety Report for Johannesburg, Americans are warned about crime concerns that dominate the environment in South Africa. Crimes are described as violent and confrontational and are listed as home invasion robberies, burglaries, car-jacking’s, organised attacks on commercial and retail centers (shopping malls and outlets) and attacks on cash-in-transit vehicles and personnel.

To combat the high crime rates, technologies have been developed to secure and handle money. The cash acceptor solution is a solution whereby the cashier deposits money into a system which counts, reconciles and verifies the notes. It allocates a value to the deposit and deposits it into a drop safe, while checking for counterfeit or distained notes. Dye stained notes occur when a cross pavement carrier is tampered with. It features a dye stain mechanism which will permanently stain the money in the case of a robbery. In terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act of 1998, it is an offence to retain or use the proceeds of unlawful activities. A banknote which has been stained under uncontrolled circumstances is most likely the proceeds of crime and it will be an offence for the bank to give value for uncontrolled dye-stained banknotes.

Once the deposit has been made, the system will communicate with the web server and reports can be drawn containing data, such as who handled the money. Once deposited, the money is safe as only the cash in transit unit will have a key to the safe. The retailer therefore has full control over the money and visibility of the flow of the money with full reporting.

Another system, the banknote recycler, counts and verifies the money and deposits it into a system which can also pay out. A deposit can be split into what is to be fetched for banking or recycled, while input and output is reconciled, as with an ATM. The technologies are customised according to the needs of the customer, which differ from region to region. For instance, in the Eastern Cape very high cash volumes are handled, while Gauteng spend is primarily through card transactions. The quality of the money also differs from region to region and the sensitivity of the recognition software has to be adjusted accordingly. In rural areas notes are recycled much more before being banked than in cities; therefore the quality of the money deteriorates at a faster rate. The quality of the cash handling system should be greater the worse the quality of the notes is. The area will therefore determine the cash problem and the solution required.

Henry van Bosch from Global Payment Technologies, a Bidvest company, points out that the Glory Recycling System accepts multi-currency notes, automatically verifies the notes and has a serial number reading function. “It has been proven that the use of these technologies, whether a deposit machine or a recycler, reduces losses and counterfeit exposure. The CDS Obolus-C Solution for retail, for instance, is a cash deposit system by which an operator can identify himself with either a user name and password or a personal card. Tracking of every transaction is therefore guaranteed. Another solution is the NomiMax 9100, which operates almost as a full ATM, offering bill payments, fund transfers, balance enquiries, mobile phone top-ups and mini statements. It can also assist with insurance and loan approvals; a full self-service solution”.

There is much talk about a cashless society and other technologies that will replace cash and credit cards such as e-wallets, but while money is still making the world go round, it is important to streamline processes, increase efficiency and secure the funds as far as possible.

Global Payment Technologies (GPT), one of the 9 divisions of The Bidvest Group, is a JSE listed company with over 104,000 employees. GPT’s core business since inception in 1997 is focused around secure electronic payments and cash processing solutions for the banking, gaming and retail sectors.

GPT can be contacted at or on 011 997 6600.

Ideate is one of South Africa's biggest business blogs, with a team of authors all of whom have had entrepreneurial experience. Ideate is read by entrepreneurs thinking BIG. Follow us on Twitter here. View more articles by Staff Reporter.

Tags: Global Payment Technologies, GPT

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