Building a Digital Bridge Between Technologies and Players in the Cash Cycle

In an increasingly digitalized world, central and commercial banks require new and smart solutions. Intelligent automation is the key to more efficiency in the cash cycle. Currency News spoke to Wolfgang Kneilmann, Head of the Currency Management Solutions and Member of the Management Board at G+D Currency Technology, about challenges and solutions in times of disruption and changes in the industry.

How do changes in technology impact central banks today?

Central banks are increasingly delegating tasks and functions in the cash cycle to other players, such as commercial banks and cash-in-transit companies. Smart technology helps central banks to retain control and visibility even when they no longer directly handle these tasks.

What are the tasks central banks are delegating?

There is a strong pressure on cost in the cash cycle. It is therefore imperative to increase the efficiency through intelligent automation, one of our main areas of competence. When central banks delegate the management of cash centers, intelligent automation increases productivity, i.e. higher throughput, and security through the reduction of manual handling.

Can you provide some examples of the kind of intelligent automation you are suggesting?

Sure. We are focusing on several areas. Some of the points listed below are already operative; we are working on the others

  • eliminating manual handling: using intelligent cash trays right from the point of collection through processing at the cash center, helps minimize the number of times currency is physically handled. Combined with automated loading and packaging systems, they offer a huge improvement in efficiency and security

  • predictive maintenance: automation tools that analyze throughput and ensure that any equipment processing high volumes is receiving regular maintenance before causing a service interruption

  • fitness simulation: we simulate various scenarios and, based on the results, finetune our systems and software to guarantee maximum output

  • shredder prediction: using data analytics, we will be able to predict nationwide cash usage. This helps with long-term planning of capacities

How can the industry continue to improve efficiency in the cash cycle?

Together with our customers! That is the first part of the answer. Solution providers such as  G+D Currency Technology, working together with our customers, are in a great position to identify and then design new solutions for improving efficiency. Collaboration is one of our key values. We have been facilitating this collaboration with design thinking workshops and by using agile methods in system development. They help us to enhance transparency and improve interdisciplinary collaboration on projects, also with customers, and to increase flexibility when handling changing requirements.

What is the second part?

Digitalization and data analytics. It is our vision to build a digital bridge between technologies and all relevant players in the cash cycle. Large amounts of data are being gathered by our systems, in cash centers, around cash centers, in the whole cash cycle. Data analytics will help us connect the dots and pinpoint where in the cash cycle solutions can be implemented that bring value to the players, and, coming back to your first question, enable central banks to retain control.

G+D has been in this business a long time. How do you keep the focus on innovation?

Innovation is in our DNA at G+D Currency Technology. We regularly host think tanks to bring together the brightest minds from across the globe to solve problems and brainstorm new ideas. We also have a new initiative at G+D called advance52, which acts as a catalyst for prototyping new digital technologies and business models. We have always been a driving force for change and at the forefront of technology. From our beginnings as builders of ‘machines’ to the most sophisticated high-tech processing systems and software, services and solutions for the whole cash cycle. We have had a really successful 2017, with a sizeable increase in revenue, and will continue to grow. Which allows us to invest accordingly. We spend 120 million euros of our annual budget on R&D and we currently hold over 3,900 active patents.

What’s next on your agenda?

There are many exciting technologies which I believe will further enhance the efficiency of central banks. Some of the most interesting include the use of augmented reality in cash centers, data lakes and artificial intelligence in order to enable even better control and planning of capacities, the use of blockchain technology for central bank transactions and digital currencies. Working closely with the central banks, we are confident that together we will be able to continue optimizing the cash cycle – for the benefit of users and partners in the cash cycle alike.

Interview published in Currency News May 2018

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