automation in the currency industry
#Currency Management

End-to-end automation in the cash cycle

Global Trends
6 Mins.

Integrated automation in cash processing systems has enabled a volume of banknotes weighing the same as an Audi A1 sedan to be accurately processed in an eight-hour shift on a single high-speed processing system. Extending such automation, and its accompanying efficiency gains, to entire cash centers, or across the entire cash cycle, is no longer just a pipe dream. However, new milestones in intelligent automation won’t be reached unless players in the currency industry undergo a mindset shift to think in terms of end-to-end environments.

When it comes to cash automation, engineers no longer think about a standalone machine, but rather in terms of the entire cash center process. However, to continue advancing, Christian Huber, Head of Business and Product Management – Business Line High-Speed Processing Systems, G+D, believes that it must go even further.

“We must consider where cash deposits are coming from and who will need the processed cash next, for which purpose. All members of the value chain need to become more integrated and operate highly automated and digitalized solutions that seamlessly fit together to create a more holistic, efficient cash cycle.”

Cash center automation and greater connectivity have the potential to significantly reduce costs, increase security, and optimize productivity. In their paper “Improving the Efficiency of the Handling of Cash,” The European Payments Council identified a reduction in manual handling as one of the key future strategies to ensure access to cash in a convenient and affordable way.1

From machine operators to control center managers

Christian Huber says, “The operator of the future won’t simply insert cash into a machine and take it out again – they will become the manager of the control center, taking on tasks that require accountability, which machines can’t replace.”

He believes that reducing hands-on-cash creates safer, more ergonomic environments. “Intelligently automated systems remain consistently productive, always uphold maximum security, and are not subject to human error. Fewer people will come into contact with banknotes, reducing any risk of manipulation,” he adds. Huber believes that with more interesting tasks, staff will even become more engaged.

“The future of cash handling will involve fewer hands, but more brains“
Christian Huber
Head of Business and Product Management – Business Line High-Speed Processing Systems, G+D

By monitoring processes throughout the cash cycle, data analytics plays a crucial role in this new model. Integrated software solutions allow for seamless, real-time monitoring and the realization of lean practices in cash centers. Artificial intelligence (AI) also finds its way into algorithms used for banknote classification and predictive maintenance, for example, which further enhances efficiency.

Towards long-term efficiency

effective automation
Integrated automation in cash centers increases productivity and streamlines processes throughout the entire cash cycle

However, in order to roll out such streamlined, automated environments, organizations – from central banks to financial institutions, CITs, and retail – require a certain mindset and the will behind it. All partners in the cash cycle must think more holistically, and manufacturers must provide scalable solutions suitable for cash centers of all sizes, including smaller applications. Huber remarks that there is a clear trend towards consolidation of cash processing. The growing role of CITs and development of multi-bank cash centers, also with partial central bank involvement, justifies the establishment of large cash centers with high levels of automation and a broad range of services. This shows that the real benefits will be reaped if all players adopt new operation methods.

“We’re working on modular and scalable automated solutions that serve a broad variety of applications. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but modularity addresses this perfectly. And a certain level of standardization is key for cost-efficient automation. Trusted AI is helping to take banknote classification to an unseen level. Taking it a step further, integrated software solutions and data analytics contribute to making automation intelligent. The most promising solutions incorporate such technology to not only benefit cash center operations, but also to optimize cash handling between centers. Even better, they optimize collaboration between different actors in the cash cycle.”

Working with a high level of efficiency and ensuring that any volume of cash can be processed is a universal requirement within the industry. Automation serves that need for all players, everywhere.

  1. Improving the Efficiency of the Handling of Cash “Recirculation Paper,” European Payments Council

Published: 06/08/2020

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