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3 Ways Recycling Cash Can Improve Retail Store Security

Physical crime in retail establishments is a serious problem. While the National Retail Federation reported average shrinkage sits at the usual industry standard of 1.4% of total sales, robberies in the US increased 19% between 2021 and 2022. And, according to FBI law enforcement data, c-stores were the fourth most common victim for a robbery. External theft in 2021 accounted for 37% of cash and inventory losses while close to half of retail shrinkage is still attributable to employee theft.

But why are convenience stores such a target? Criminals are looking for a convenient, quick score with minimal risk. Convenience stores offer an especially attractive opportunity because of their tendency to be located at the confluence of major roadways. In addition, they stock a wide range of attractive products including food, cigarettes, alcohol (depending on the state, vehicular necessities, and personal hygiene items. And these items of convenience are commonly paid for with cash. Hard to trace. Easy to spend. Cash.

Here are three ways recycling can improve retail store security by utilizing new technology like Cash Depot’s proprietary BANK IN A BOX system.

Reduce the amount of cash on hand

Cash recycling improves c-store securityMost security experts will tell you the best solution is an ounce of prevention. Criminals of all types are looking for low-risk opportunities. Cameras, locks, alarms, and any other measure that increases the risk beyond the potential reward is a good step to take.

Then you have to reduce the reward. After all, people will rob BANKS if they think they’ll walk away with a couple hundred thousand or more. Most stores handle this by limiting the amount of funds allowed in each register at any given time. But what about what’s in your safe? Attacks on safes and vaults in stores are on the rise as bad actors realize that’s where the real money is.

But what if it wasn’t?

Innovative cash management systems such as Cash Depot’s BANK IN A BOX do much more than hold cash while it waits to be taken to the bank. Rather, the system logs deposited funds and then recycles the cash into cassettes in the machine. That cash is then made available for withdrawal by the store’s ATM or other cash application users.

As ATM and cash app users withdraw funds, the amount of cash available in the store is gradually decreased. Often, the same money is used for in-store transactions, leading to less NEW cash in the store and further lowering the total amount of funds available in the event of an attempted attack. For additional safety, all recorded store deposits are direct deposited daily to the store’s account of choice.

29% of In-Person Payments are Made with Cash. Here's a Better Way to Manage  Cash - And Make More $$.

Improve accountability and reduce temptation.

Employee access to cash is an essential part of retail operations. They need money in the drawer to make change. They need access to funds to split large bills. And, especially for locations that offer cash back on transactions, there are occasional instances where a register will have to top off with additional money.

Retailers can further limit cash access by allocating all transfers between the safe and register to the store’s manager(s). But that can create a heavy burden and inconvenience for locations facing staffing issues or heavy foot traffic.

Cash recyclers like Cash Depot’s solution address this issue by coupling cash intake with cash dispense. Rather than simply storing money, the recycler allows specific, recorded interactions to dispense bills for start-of-shift and register top-ups. And specific employee codes can record which person initiated each transaction.

Employees know their transactions are being recorded and systems like BANK IN A BOX let the business set specific access levels for each person in the proprietary backend portal documentation system. This access controls the start-of-shift register amount, whether or not an employee can pull additional register funds (and how much), and much more.

But most importantly, the funds are counted, delivered, and recorded in the backend reporting system – minimizing the time it spends in employee hands. The combination of transaction tracking and limited cash handling decreases the risks for internal theft, significantly decreasing the temptation for employees.

Timing is everything.

Most criminals investigate their target location before making a robbery attempt. So, when shift changes are regular, bank deposit timelines are standard, or anything cash-related is on a schedule, they have a pretty good idea when to strike.

Armored carriers usually work around this issue by varying their pick-up schedules and routes on a regular basis. But retail stores don’t always have the luxury of varying scheduled shift times. Fortunately, cash recycling systems like the BANK IN A BOX make it easy for stores to get out of their predictable cash routines.

Fast cash register funding and deposit options let retailers easily grab money and deposit register cash throughout the day. This process helps keep register funds low and significantly reduces the amount of end-of-shift money from being anything appealing – or recognizably different from any other deposit.

In addition, the BANK IN A BOX cycles cash out for ATM or other cash application withdrawals, limiting the amount of cash in-store and reducing or eliminating the need for bank runs or armored carrier pickups. And, when they do happen, they are on a needs-only basis; making it virtually impossible to plan an attack.

Cash recycling is an innovative way to improve retail security.

External bad actors are unlikely to put themselves or others at risk for the chump change in the register. They are far less likely to take risks when the entire store is practically cash-free. Similarly, employees aren’t going to want to risk their job or jail when they have less cash access and each transaction is fully tracked.

Physical security and prevention will always be the first step in reducing retail inventory and cash losses. But scaling down the opportunity and reward are also essential pieces to improving store safety. Unlike other cash management solutions, cash recycling systems like BANK IN A BOX from Cash Depot tackle both at once, offering more cash management flexibility, greater employee accountability, and the ability to limit total in-store funds.

Click here to find out how BANK IN A BOX can improve your retail store's safety and save you money today!