Banknote Facts

‘Super ATM’ Could Dramatically Reduce Cash Handling Costs

A new automated teller machine (ATM) introduced in Europe last year could very well prove to be an innovation that will change banking for businesses around the world.

The Q-Cash Router (QCR) – a type of “super ATM” – recycles banknotes and reduces lengthy and costly steps for businesses. Instead of taking their cash to a bank for deposit, business owners simply deposit their money into the QCR. The machine then uses those banknotes for consumers who make withdrawals.

Divided into three separate booths – one for making deposits, two for making withdrawals – this new machine is different from other ATMs that recycle cash in both style and efficiency. A QCR machine effectively eliminates both the need for business owners to make a trip to the bank, and for banks to make continuous trips to refill ATMs.

“The results indicate that it is possible to reduce the amount of cash being unnecessarily transported and counted by banks, CIT companies and cash depots by up to 50 per cent,” said Leif Lundblad, CEO and owner of BANQIT, the developer and manufacturer of QCR.

This is important, he says, because it will save both businesses and banks a lot of money.

Initial research shows that investing in QCRs did indeed pay off. Last year, one QCR machine was installed at Swedbank’s headquarters in Stockholm, and analysis of its activity shows that the bank was “able to reduce the need for transports of notes to and from the branch by EUR 490,000 worth of notes per week, equivalent to EUR 25 million worth of notes per year.”

“It is almost bizarre to transport and count all the cash that is deposited so many times in the loop when the customers could withdraw the same cash in the same machine just a few meters away, and just a few seconds later,” said Lundblad. “Cash handling amounts to up to 10-20 per cent of an average retail bank’s total costs, so there are massive savings to be done for both banks and the society at large.”

Leif Lundblad is no stranger to the world of ATMs. In the 1970s, the Swedish-born inventor developed some of the early technology used in the first automated teller machines. And contrary to popular belief, the reliance on machines and digital technologies such as smart cards, credit cards and debit cards are not reducing the need for cold hard cash. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

“People still prefer cash for many reasons, and the fact is that cash in circulation is increasing globally, not decreasing,” a recent BANQIT press release said.

SOURCES:
Financial Times: “ATM Pioneer Looks To Change Banking Again”
Press Wire: “New ‘Super ATMs’ Can Halve Cash In Circulation”

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