The South African Reserve Bank tells us that cash in circulation has passed the R119 Billion mark and reports from across the world reinforce the reality that the use of cash continues to outgrow all other forms of payment - 84% of global transactions are still made with cash.
The reasons for the popularity of cash is the ease with which it can be used, its anonymity and its integrity.But for the same reasons cash will remain the primary target of theft and robbery for a long time to come and given that criminals seek to find the line of least resistance, it follows that they will seek out where the highest amount of cash is easiest to steal!
Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect Management Solutions says that through the 90s armed robbery was rife within the Banking and cash in transit industries, but their successful response simply redirected the criminals to softer, easier targets within the business community. Over the past 10 years, armed robbery grew from 10 incidents a day to over 51 attacks a day. Last year we recorded an unbelievable 18, 615 armed business robberies in South Africa.
The robbers organise themselves in groups averaging fifteen in number. They use automatic weapons with confidence and ease. They are primarily in pursuit of cash and they seldom ever execute without careful planning and accurate intelligence. In most cases, they obtain information from insiders about how much, when and where. The attack is fast and efficient. The objective is to hit and run within 3 minutes, creating confusion and fear so as to maximise the opportunity to disappear without trace and there is always a heightened propensity for violence.
According to Phillips, the solution can be found in the advent of automated retail cash management services which effectively puts the Bank into the store. A compact, robust intelligent safe (cash vault), is installed and linked via the net to a back end. The cashiers frequently deposit the banknotes directly into the device and receive receipts for the till. Once a day the sum of deposits is electronically credited to the merchant’s bank account and the physical cash removed from site by a Cash in transit service provider. From the moment the cash is accepted into the cash vault the risk is transferred in its entirety to the service provider.
When all of the elements of a robust automated, retail cash management solution are in place, a positive emotional bank account is achieved. This is a trading condition where cash is no longer accessible and the threat of armed robbery is virtually eliminated. The staff are no longer intimidated, consciously or subconsciously, by the fear of becoming a victim of a robbery and they become much more disposed to practicing techniques designed toward service excellence and the promotion of sales. Such an environment encourages a positive and pleasant atmosphere that stimulates customer attendance and spend.