KUALA LUMPUR: While there are continuous efforts around the world to move towards cashless transactions, paying by cash remains the favourite medium in many places, including Malaysia.
So, to help shopkeepers better manage cash transactions, Wincor Nixdorf is touting Cash Cycle Management Solutions (CCMS), a set of hardware, software and services to automate and shorten the cash logistics chain in retail stores.
Targeting Tier-1 retailers — hypermarket chains and the such — the solutions cover end-to-end retail cash cycle management, from the frontline self-checkout counters all the way to a store’s cash office, said Stan Singh-Jit, managing director of Wincor Nixdorf Retail Solutions (M) Sdn Bhd.
A typical cash cycle involves multiple recounting processes — starting with the cashier who gets the money from the customer, who then passes it to his supervisor at the end of his shift, who will then pass it to the chief cashier, and so on — until the money is taken by a security company to be deposited in a bank.
With so many hands handling the money, said Stan, inventory differences or cash shortages are inevitable.
He said CCMS self-checkout machines solve this problem by reducing people-contact or minimising the number of staff that needs to handle the money directly.
Instead of handing out money over to the cashier like usual, customers deposit notes and coins straight into the automated checkout system, which accepts the payment and dispenses any balance.
The money is automatically fed into intelligent cash-cassettes with memory chips that monitor and track any transactions in realtime, providing greater cash transparency and enhanced security.
At the end of the business day (or when the cassette is full), it can be removed from the automated checkout machine and reinserted into a secure automated teller safe in the retailer’s back office for safe keeping — all without any staff having to touch the cash inside.
The cassettes also have a sophisticated security solution that will spray indelible ink onto the cash notes in the event anyone tries to force open a cassette, said Stan.
Save money, too
CCMS can help reduce operating costs by at least 20% while improving security, operational processes and cash transparency for retailers, he said.
He said that nine out of 10 transactions worldwide involve cash payments and the cost of handling such transactions has reached a total of US$300bil (RM960bil) per annum.
Studies by Dutch, Belgian and German central banks estimate that the total cost of managing cash transactions are between 0.4% and 0.5% of their respective country’s GDP (gross domestic product).
Taking that as a point of reference, Wincor Nixdorf Retail Solutions estimates that the cost of managing cash transactions in Malaysia is about RM29bil, of which RM17bil comes from the local retail segment. Malaysia’s GDP is about RM573bil.
The German company expects to embark on a CCMS pilot project with a local hypermarket chain soon. However, Stan declined to provide more information on the initiative at this time.