How retailers can fill the void left by bank branch closures

Will bank closures lead to a greater demand for cash out from retailers?

In 2017, over 40 Australian bank branches were closed by the big four. This isn't a new trend: Australia has been losing branches steadily over the last few years as customers opt to do much of their banking on digital platforms. We might be moving towards a cashless society, but we are still a long way from that reality. In the meantime, retailers and private operators who handle cash are in a precarious position.

What's happening to the banks?

With the price of property ballooning and a considerably lower consumer demand for face to face interaction with bankers, it's simply not financially viable to keep quieter branches open. It's not just branch closures indicating change, however. Following the lead taken by Citi's Australian branches in late 2016, many banks are now cashless.

Citi claimed that less than 4 per cent of its customers had made a cash transaction in the previous 12 months. In 2017, ATM withdrawals reached a 15 year low, according to Canstar. Furthermore, cash isn't the only service to be phased out. While the safety deposit box was once a cornerstone for the bank's customers to store important documents, heirlooms and other valuable items, this service has seen a steady decline in the last five years as well.

The implications for retailers and private operators

It's essential that businesses offering cash withdrawals have an efficient and reliable cash handling system.

In many cases the lack of available branches or ATMs will mean that consumers are unable to withdraw cash when they need it. This has led to retailers and private operators, both already handling cash, being used for cash withdrawals. An increase in the volume of cash could be problematic if the right cash handling systems aren't in place. From small fashion boutiques to national supermarket chains, offering cash out is a useful service for customers and has benefits for the businesses too.

Primarily, it increases foot traffic, and is likely to lead to additional purchases. Secondly, automated cash handling equipment needs to be emptied less frequently. Of course, an increased number of cash transactions allows more room for human error to kick in, so it's essential that businesses offering cash withdrawals have an efficient and reliable cash handling system.

Furthermore, with less banks offering safety deposit lockers, there is an opportunity for private operators to fill that void. The need for storage with maximised security features still very much exists, however providing this service requires the high quality, extremely secure lockers these customers are used to using in banks.

Gunnebo has the solutions to help retailers and private operators make the most of these new opportunities for service.

Automated cash handling systems can significantly reduce shrinkage.Manual cash handling leaves a lot of room for human error.

1. SafeCash Retail Station

Our SafeCash Retail Station is a streamlined cash management system. The station significantly reduces the amount of time spent manually handling cash and can be connected to the point of sale system to automatically dispense change and cash out amounts. Furthermore, the SafeCash Retail Station can automate reconciliation processes for more secure, less time-consuming back office handling processes. As well as offering real-time cash monitoring, the station maintains absolute transparency with a complete transaction log – effectively eliminating the possibility of shrinkage.

The SafeCash Retail Station provides retailers with a way to carefully manage cash handling process even with large quantities of transactions. Human error is removed from the equation, ensuring maximum productivity with zero loss.

2. SafeStore Auto

Gunnebo's SafeStore Auto range delivers a smarter solution for those providing safety deposit lockers (SDLs). SafeStore Auto comes in a range of sizes to manage anywhere from 69 to 5,000 storage compartments, and these systems utilise a user-friendly interface with advanced identification features to ensure both ease of use and maximum security. The automated operation mean customers won't need a staff member on hand to help them, therefore they can be accessed 24/7 with the additional element of privacy.

The SafeStore Auto range is highly flexible, it can be fitted according to the space available and can be customised to suit the colour and decor of your self-service area. This range has been designed to meet the most rigorous security demands and promises peace of mind to users.

3. Certified Chubbsafes

Sometimes, a safe is not as safe as the name would have you believe. Safes need to meet a tough set of criteria in order to be certified against a common host of threats. Burglary, fire, ballistics, explosives – these are the things your safe needs to stand up against (not to mention various combinations of the above). Anyone who invests in a safe needs to know that their property will be protected, and a safe that hasn't been certified is about as secure as a paper envelope.

Chubbsafes meet every standard and certification requirement for their applications. There is a solution for every size of enterprise, and where retailers are dealing with a greater volume of cash, a safe you can trust is absolutely crucial.

For more information about how Gunnebo can assist your business in cash handling of safety deposit services, get in contact with us today.