Digital can never truly replace cash

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Consumers have more payment options than ever, with more retailers adding mobile payment platforms to their payment acceptance mix. Yet, even with an increasing number of payment options available, the reports of the death of cash have been greatly exaggerated.

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco published a report in 2018 noting that despite the continued growth of online shopping, shoppers made 77% of payments in person. Of those payments, consumers pulled out cash nearly 40% of the time, rather than credit or debit cards.

Cash may be sharing its place on the throne with other payment options, but is certainly not going away soon.

This reality means retailers, ever looking for ways to streamline operations — need more cost-efficient ways to accept and process cash. Since counting cash drawers manually can take up to an hour or more, and increases the risk of counting errors, this system isn’t the best. Miscounts or missing money results in recounting, meaning employees are tied up with back-office duties, rather than customer-facing ones.

The right retail technology addresses this challenge, by reducing cash management expenses and empowering greater organizational management. Moreover, count-by-weight cash (CBW) counters provide an added value by shedding light into sales through data analytics and significantly reducing the time it takes to count cash drawers.

Retailers can seamlessly connect CBW counters into their point-of-sale systems. This integration delivers enterprisewide visibility into transactions, including which operators signed in and out of a cash drawer, whether there’s a cash discrepancy and when a retailer’s cash drawers need to be replenished or skimmed.

Greater access to data, such as which locations made end-of-day reconciliations or whether certain employees consistently come up short, helps retailers make better, more-informed decisions around their cash management.

As of Jan. 8, 2020, there were $1.75 trillion worth of Federal Reserve notes in circulation. Consumers appreciate having hard cash as a payment option. Also, while cashless kiosks, restaurants and stores might be trending, they aren’t always ready for prime time, i.e., widespread adoption.

The message is clear: Cash is important for ensuring all consumers can transact and easily make a purchase.

Retailers looking to gain market share in a fiercely competitive environment must invest in technology that helps them focus on an improved in-store experience while decreasing the cost of managing cash. Thankfully, such technology exists, and it’s as easy to use as a smartphone.

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