The cash vault: no longer just a tin box
Cash safes have a long history, dating back as far as the 8th century BC, with those first locks made by the Egyptians and ancient Romans. It’s not a new science therefore, but one that has through the ages evolved into a high-tech, all-inclusive art form – an art form that, in South Africa, has reached a technological pinnacle over the past 10 years.
In a country where cash is king, cash crimes have stepped up to the throne. Fortunately, and by nearly perfecting the cash vault, Cash Connect Management Solutions has come to the rescue.
In celebrating Cash Connect’s 10th anniversary, we take a look at the evolution of the cash vault to the complete automated cash management system it is today. The modern cash vault is no longer a mere tin box. Today it represents a cog in a holistic, end-to-end cash management solution.
Blazing a trail…
Qube Technologies blazed the trail for bulk cash acceptance automation in South Africa by introducing the Smartbox, developed exclusively for First National Bank. By the start of the new millennium several solutions developers, having realised the potential of the cash acceptance space, started development on a variety of products.
Yet, it was Cash Connect that introduced the first categorised cash vault to our market. This vault was born out of necessity, and mainly because of South Africa’s unique crime situation.
According to Pierre Liebenberg, Cash Connect’s General Manager for Development and Manufacturing, in South Africa the concept of the modern retail cash vault has been in existence since the late 1990’s, with the first working Deposit Manager® prototype, the cash deposit acceptor being fielded as early as 1999. This product focused on automation of what until then was a manual cash deposit process. This solution kick-started an exponential growth in cash deposit automation solutions being developed and arguably helped establish South Africa as the world leader in retail cash deposit automation.
Enter the next generation…
Whilst most of the solutions being brought to market started focusing on providing a basic level of security, external collection (through-the-wall) of cash through canister-based systems only accessible by authorised Cash-In-Transit personnel and validation of cash using off-the-shelf technology developed for vending and gaming applications, it was soon realised that what was needed in the market was a radical change to the core technology being used. This was necessary to expand the value and feature offering being taken to market.
“Whilst we developed the first categorised cash vault, we also realised that the designs of the machines would ultimately not stand up to the rigours of a generally aggressive and violent environment, and that for the technology to succeed in an increasingly demanding and hostile setting, it had to offer a meaningful and scalable deterrent to attack. It therefore also had to be robust, accurate and easy to use,” says Liebenberg.
Moving towards a complete solution…
As the market developed, Cash Connect focused its efforts on creating a fully integrated end-to-end service which above all would seek to eliminate the client’s cash risk by guaranteeing value the moment it was deposited into the vault. It was therefore imperative that cash vaults also communicate to a remote terminal to enable the comprehensive monitoring of the activity at a client’s premises and ultimately triggering a settlement process, core to Cash Connect’s envisaged end-to-end service offering.
According to Richard Phillips, Joint CEO of Cash Connect, the typical South African retailer does not accept second best as a rule. He operates in a highly cost sensitive market that equally demands quality of both product and service. When it is further considered that they have to contend with being a primary target in what is generally considered to be one of most violent criminal countries in the world, it follows that a cash management solution catering for this market needs to be credible in both design and performance.
Benchmarking a new standard…
Against this backdrop, the cash vault has evolved to comprise a solution in which it is built to a minimum SABS Category 4 standard, is designed to defeat and counter criminal threats by withstanding the toughest of attacks, and utilises a multi-layered security approach. This includes:
- The use of specialised laminates and filling aggregates to create an attack-resistant shell;
- Sophisticated locking mechanisms aimed at defeating picking and brute-force attacks on the door of the vault;
- Sophisticated sensing and early-warning technology to enable reaction to an attack in process;
- Task-appropriate cash counting and validation technology to ensure accuracy of the physical cash process count; and,
- Reliable back-end communications through an appropriate channel (GPRS / GSM in the case of South Africa) to ensure that data generated / captured by the vault is secured in a proprietary back-end environment.
Being proudly South African, this next generation of the cash vault is only available through Cash Connect.
Phillips: “My experiences drive my conviction that what we have built over the past 10 years in Cash Connect, is the most advanced, holistic and dependable solution on the market today. Our performance continues to prove that we deliver on the promise to mitigate risk in the broader sense in our customers’ place of work. In creating a positive emotional bank account for our customers in which their staff, their customers and their business maximises the deterrent effect of our technology and service, the cash vault is the axis around which our end-to-end automated cash management system revolves.”
About Cash Connect
Cash Connect Management Solutions offers an end-to-end cash management solution that encompasses cash in transit logistics, security management and cash processing. Established in 2006, Cash Connect’s specialist solutions for retailers remove risk and maximise cash flow through swift settlements.
Cash Connect is one of the largest suppliers of cash to the banking system and boasts close on R40 Billion a year that it manages on behalf of its diversified client base across the country.
It is an approved service provider to blue-chip companies such as Spar Group, Shell, Engen, and Pick ‘n Pay, OK, ICC to name but a few.
Cash Connect is a private company, with Old Mutual’s specialist fund, Futuregrowth Asset Management, as its largest institutional shareholder.
Idea Engineers on behalf of Sumay Herbst: Cash Connect
Tel: +27 11 010 4300 / 083 286 2799
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