I believe it was Liza Minelli who said that ‘money makes the world go round’ – but what about cash?
These days, we’re certainly using cash less, but are we moving towards a society where it could be phased out completely?
“When it comes to trends around the use of currency in Malta, we can see that – while a number of alternative payment methods such as cards and mobile apps are popular – consumers still choose to pay in cash for many of their transactions,” says Joseph Cachia & Son Ltd Executive Director Maronna Filletti.
“We have actually seen an increase in cash in circulation across the EU as a whole, including Malta. Germany, for example, has been slower to adopt new payment methods.” In an effort to curb this, some countries, like Sweden, have driven a policy towards achieving a ‘cashless’ society.
“But there are problems with this,” she asserts. “Without cash, the state is no longer managing monetary policy. The link between our own identities as citizens of a state and state currency is powerful. Sweden is exploring the idea of a state digital currency. You may have read that, in the USA, certain states are now looking to make it illegal for retailers to refuse cash as a payment method.
“The idea of a cashless society may appeal to some businesses, however, in our consumer-led societies, if customers choose to keep using cash, then businesses have to provide for this. As a result, we at Joseph Cachia & Son Ltd believe that, in the medium term at least, we won’t make the complete shift toward cashless societies.”
Thus, money handling systems remain an important tool for companies that want to be more secure, efficient and error-free when handling cash, so they can mitigate the risks associated with it and keep operating costs as low as possible.
“Our job is to take our clients’ requirements and advise them on a solution that will improve and future-proof their businesses,” enthuses Ms Filletti.
“That is exactly where our money-handling machines – a very special product within our portfolio – comes in.”
Going into detail about what money handling machines do, Ms Filletti explains that they can be used by a vast breadth of companies. This obviously includes banks and Cash in Transit (CIT) companies, but extends to every business that handles cash – from transport businesses to retail stores, supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, pharmacies and currency exchanges.
“They can all benefit from handling cash more effectively,” Ms Filletti continues. Asked about how companies could get started on integrating a money handling system in place, the Executive Director says this should start with an assessment of the processes already in place.
“Could the company make their cash processes more secure?” she questions. “Could they be more reliable and accurate? Beyond that, would they like to reduce the time and resources it takes to manage cash?
“And do they want their staff to be released from cash handling to concentrate on customer service? If so, then it would certainly be worth exploring and understanding the benefits of employing cash automation technology.”
As with every sector that Joseph Cachia & Son Ltd is operational in, it chooses to work with the international marketing leader when it comes to the purveyor of its products. In this case, that brand is Glory Global Solutions, which is wholly dedicated to releasing customers from the burden of manual cash processing so they can focus on the experience they deliver to their customers.
This includes the popular range Acrelec, which specialises in self-service solutions for the quick service restaurant and retail industries.
“Glory only recently announced its plan to significantly invest in Acrelec,” Ms Filletti continues. “And it looks like an exciting progression and synergy of technologies will take place to meet the growing trends for people-centred solutions for the retail sector.
“This is still a work-in-progress by Glory, and our indications show that it will be finalised by the end of the second quarter this year, so we encourage readers to stay tuned for more in the near future as there are going to be some very interesting developments.”
Meanwhile, Ms Filletti expands on the reasons why a company may choose to invest in one of these systems. “They may just want to count cash quickly and accurately, or sort cash,” she says. “Or they may want a deposit technology solution, or a solution that can recycle cash. There is no ‘one size fits all’ product in this sector… If only it was that simple!”
Fortunately enough, Glory offers a wide range of solutions to match customer requirements. “For instance, the financial sector has invested in automation technology for many decades. A significant change occurred around 10 years ago, when hardware suppliers like Glory – that had previously focused on automating cash processes in bank branches and cash centres – recognised the opportunity for improvement in on-site retail systems.
“Then, even more recently, they have added a recycling capability for retail outlets and have automated tasks such as preparing tills and reconciling bank deposits. The developments have been ongoing.”
As for the most important change in this area, the Executive Director cites this as the potential to re-use cash that was previously idle in safes. “This includes the provision of cashback at the point of sale,” she continues.
“Glory has developed the CashInfinity solution set so that large hypermarkets, small convenience stores and everything in between can select the solution that meets their cash management needs, both in store and in their back offices.
“Locally we have seen a lot of success for the products already, and have been very active – for instance – at selling recycling cash machines to supermarkets, cab companies and at other retailers across Malta and Gozo.
“Shortly, we will announce a new range of recycling machines in one of Malta’s largest supermarket chains using exclusively Glory products, which will be another important milestone.”
Of course, money handling is only part of Joseph Cachia & Son Ltd’s portfolio, with the company’s wider range encompassing complementary products such as customer journey queuing solutions and meteorological systems.
“As a member of the M. Demajo Group, we have been operating for over 100 years and we really do pride ourselves on our reputation of having 24-hour-a-day support and an excellent level of maintenance and service for our esteemed clients. This will always remain our focus, as we continue to serve more and more clients across Malta and Gozo in 2020, both when it comes to money handling and everything else that we offer,” Ms Filletti concludes.
This interview appeared in the February/March edition of the Commercial Courier