According to the latest FIS Global Payments Report, 53% of POS purchases in South Africa are made in cash. Couple that with the increase in retail trade of 7.7% year-on-year to January 2022 and it seems fair to say that tills across the country are full. While that is reason celebrate, the risks cash poses make it something of a double-edged sword. How do managers and business owners go about better managing money in store and safely depositing money in the bank?
Cash Management Challenges at the POS
To keep tight control of revenues, you need to understand the risks that arise at three points before a cash deposit lands safely in your bank account. The first is the point of sale. Here’s how you can minimise the risks:
Assign Responsibility for Registers and Floats
It is best practice to ensure each staff member accounts for their own register and float. While it’s convenient to allow staff to share registers and roll cash over from one shift, this will catch up with you when it becomes impossible to get to the root of discrepancies and the business is saddled with the loss.
Part of each cashier’s responsibility includes adhering to policies on when the register can be opened and tracking when funds are loaned to the till.
Limit Cash Volumes in Registers
Stuffing a till drawer to the point of overflowing is not only a temptation for opportunistic grab-and-run crimes but also risks bills getting stuck and damaged in the door.
Although most modern POS software will alert the cashier when the register contents exceed a specified quantity of cash, it’s important to train staff not to ignore this prompt.
The easiest way to eliminate human error, negligence and the temptation for skimming at the point of sale are cash recyclers, such as Deposita’s Exchangor Teller.
As a replacement for manual till drawers, these cash solutions are closed-loop systems. Customers feed notes and coins into the machine, which automatically dispenses the correct change.
Because the system remains sealed until deposited at the bank, it minimises the risks around hard currency. And the benefits don’t end there. Checkouts are much faster and end-of-day reporting occurs at the touch of a button, freeing managers from the task of manually reviewing receipts and documentation for each till.
Cash Management Challenges in the Back Office
Even before cash leaves your premises to be deposited, it makes a journey from the front of your business to the back office. Despite being such a short journey, a lot can go wrong along the way.
Implement a Dual Custody System
Think of this as the buddy system for handling cash. When only one person is charged with moving cash to the safe, counting it and sorting bills by denominations, the door is wide open for errors and theft. Even if that person is absolutely honest, any mistakes will go undetected.
A second person verifies the count and, in the event of a loss, can vouch for their counterpart and prevent unwarranted suspicion. This same system carries over to depositing money in the bank, too.
Create a Paper Trail
Keeping good records of your cash management processes is a life saver when things don’t add up. With cash receipts and supporting documentation for each till count and deposit you can trace errors or malfeasance.
Here’s what you need to note in your deposit log:
- When (date and time) was the deposit created?
- What is the total value of the deposit? And are there any discrepancies?
- Who has signed off on the deposit? Ideally, both the manager responsible for the count and an employee who has verified the information.
- What is the serial number on the deposit bag?
- When (date and time) was the deposit taken to the bank or handed to the cash-in-transit agent?
- Who has signed off on the deposit’s delivery/collection? That means getting a signature from the person taking the cash deposit to the bank or handing it to the armoured car carrier.
The alternative is a smart safe, which can accurately count and validate cash in seconds – much faster than any human.
Plus, with unique user authentication options and transaction tracking, cash management solutions, such as Deposita’s Protector range, not only eliminate the need for dual custody but also take the hassle out of creating your paper trail.
For more how you can protect your business with cash solutions, read our blog about the benefits of a smart safe.
Cash Management Challenges When Depositing Money
Having large volumes of cash on your business premises is dangerous. That’s why it’s important to make frequent bank deposits, even if that means multiple visits per day.
Break Your Habits
Avoid making deposits at the same times and places because criminals observing your behaviour will pick up on this pattern and plan their attack according. Vary the times and/or days that you schedule depositing money as well as the bank branch that you use.
Discretion starts with not broadcasting your intention to make a cash deposit. The fewer people that know, the better. You also don’t want to draw attention to the fact that you are carrying large sums of money.
For this reason, it’s better to travel in an unmarked car rather than a branded company vehicle. By the same token, bank bags, briefcases or deposit books, which make it obvious you are carrying cash, are a no-no.
On arrival, remain in the vehicle until the area is clear. Be aware of your surroundings and if you suspect you are being followed, report it to the police immediately. This is where dual custody once again proves invaluable. Not only are thieves less likely to attack two people than a single individual, but you also have a second pair of eyes to keep a lookout.
Remember, Safety First
If possible, steer clear of the bank on high-risk days, such as the first Monday, Friday or Saturday of a month or just before the end of the month. It’s also a good idea to carry a cellphone in case of emergency.
And if the worst comes to the worst, don’t resist an attacker. Turn over the money and contact law enforcement as soon as possible.
Depositing money is a risky business, which is why so many businesses make use of professional cash-in-transit services. But, as this article makes clear, that’s hardly the only security concern related to handling cash.
Using Deposita’s Cash Management Solutions for Better Accuracy and Security
The work hours that your trusted staff members spend on the tedious job of counting and sorting takings, as well as travelling to and waiting at the bank, could be better devoted to your customers. Whether you pay for cash solutions or staff labour through salaries, cash handling has its cost.
The added benefit of cash solutions is that they reduce the risks of falling prey not only to human errors but also criminals within and outside your organisation.
If you’re ready to invest in securing your cash revenue and peace of mind, contact Deposita for a free consultation on dedicated solutions or an end-to-end cash management system.