U.S. banks have flirted with the idea of cash recycling for several years. Recently, however, the North American market has become more serious about cash machines — largely due to the fact that cash recycling machines have dramatically come down in price. A cash recycling machine that cost $45,000 to $55,000 five years ago costs between $15,000 and $40,000 today.
The big question that remains: Will cash recycling continue to be a subject that garners a lot of lip service and little action, or are U.S. financial institutions finally ready to act?
Cash Recycling in a Nutshell
Cash handling machines perform simple but important teller tasks:
Storing cash securely
Tracking the amount and denominations of cash on hand
Automating the cash cycle
The idea of cash recycling comes from the machines' capability to accept and sort cash deposits and then dispense that same cash for withdrawals. That's why cash recycling machines should be implemented in places where there are high volumes of both deposits and withdrawals, whether that's at the teller counter or a high-traffic ATM.
Serious discussion about implementing cash recycling efforts in the United States began in recent years, with the evolution of hardware improvements. Later, advanced recognition technologies created opportunities for new ATM features, such as intelligent check deposit and cash recycling. ATM manufacturers began designing cash recyclers in the late 1980s. Over the years, they have tested several solutions, including dedicated “drums” and recycling cassettes.
ATM manufacturers began designing cash recyclers in the late 1980s. Over the years, they have tested several solutions, including dedicated “drums” and recycling cassettes.
Eventually, the technology focused on recycling cassettes. Early initiatives took place in various European countries and accepted and dispensed domestic currencies. Most often, experiments were conducted in small countries where various currencies are distributed.
The European Central Bank (ECB) eventually stepped into the ring and, in 2004, issued basic cash recycling regulations. As is often true in Europe, implementing new procedures took time, so many regulations were implemented progressively: France and Germany implemented regulations in 2005, Spain in 2006, and the United Kingdom in 2010. That's how cash recycling began to flourish in European banks more than 10 years ago.
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