As we enter the New Year, now is a perfect time for retailers to assess their operations and seek new ways to boost efficiencies. One of the best ways to set a retail business up for success in 2022, is to embrace automated cash management to drive down costs, improve cash flow, save time, access smart value-added services that help it to grow, and keep focused on its core business.
With cash in circulation growing 8.23% in value from R155 billion to R168 billion between March 2020 and March 2021, according to the South African Reserve Bank, cash remains the payment instrument of choice for South African consumers, says Mark Templemore-Walters, Operations Director at Cash Connect, SA’s leading provider of automated cash management and payment solutions to the retail industry.
“As much as we are seeing digital transactions grow, cash remains the preferred way to pay for many consumers. It’s convenient, the transaction cost to the consumer is low, and it’s accepted everywhere,” says Templemore-Walters. “For retailers, the good news is that automated cash management systems streamline management of cash, saves them significant time and money, and gives them access to a wealth of value-added services.”
Templemore-Walters says that retailers should use the following checklist when considering a reputable automated cash management solution:
A truly automated cash management and payment solution should eliminate all staff touch points associated with manual reconciliations and banking. This will ensure fast and error-free cash management, while reducing overhead and back-office costs. Eliminating manual reconciliations and banking, and counting and double-count supervision, frees up staff time for more meaningful work. Depending on how much cash it processes each month, a retailer can save up to 40% in cash costs by deploying a fully automated, end-to-end cash management service with a robust cash vault.
Same day access to your cash:
With the right solution, the retailer’s cash will reflect in its bank account on the same day that the cash-in-transit company collects it from their premises. Some solutions go even further, with instant access to the cash while still in the vault, converting the retailer’s cash into value whenever it needs it.
Valued-added business funding solutions:
Automated cash management is just the start; today’s fintech providers will also offer value-adds like business funding. With Capital Connect, retailers can take advantage of unsecured finance up to R2,5million, to increase stock levels or purchase bulk stock at discounted rates, with loans approved in under 24 hours and with no cumbersome paperwork. For those that have a Cash Connect vault, repayments are deducted in small daily instalments straight from the cash in the vault.
Immediate risk transfer:
The ideal automated cash management solution will cover the retailer’s risks from the moment the cash goes into the vault, while in transit, and until it reflects in its bank account. Cash should be guaranteed, side-stepping traditional insurance assessment delays and critical cash flow effects on turnover.
A bank in the store:
A robust cash vault, built to SABS Category 4 standards, is the centrepiece of a tried-and-tested, automated cash management solution. Retailers do not then need to leave their premises to manually bank their cash to get value in their bank account. Instead, smart cash vault solutions enable retailers to get real-time access to their cash once it has been deposited into the retail cash vault.
Multiple cost centres and shared services:
The solution should offer multiple account options from one cash vault. The retailer can account for income streams from different departments separately, each with their unique bank accounts, while using the same cash vault.
Templemore-Walters says: “In a cash-centric economy like South Africa, the way a retailer manages cash can spell the difference between success and failure. With automated cash management, retailers can maximise the benefits inherent in cash trading to boost profits and grow their businesses. Beyond the vault, the right solution will also enable a retailer to grow their business and optimise cash flow.”