As retailers face persistently high inflation, load shedding and the need to rebuild after COVID-19, their focus is turning to how they can improve their operational efficiency. With data from StatsSA showing that retail trade sales decreased by 2.5% year-on-year in June, retailers are looking for ways to drive down costs. One of the most proven and effective is to automate cash management.
Mark Templemore-Walters, Operations Director at Cash Connect, says that despite the shift towards digital ways of living and working, cash has remained resilient as one of the consumer’s preferred ways to pay. Consumers still favour cash because it’s convenient, trusted, offers them low transaction costs and is universally accepted, he adds.
A recent survey found that South African banks see physical money remaining key to their business because almost a third of their customers aren’t ready to go cashless. The data reveals that almost all customers said they still withdraw cash at least once a month to meet various needs. Furthermore, high costs of digital transactions and digital fraud are among the factors deterring South Africans from going cashless.
“Automating the management of the cash that flows into a business is an easy win to shave costs, increase efficiencies and increase focus on the core retail business. Depending on how much cash it processes each month, a retailer can save up to 40% in cash costs by deploying a fully automated, end-to-end cash management service with a secure, intelligent cash vault,” says Templemore-Walters.
More than a vault
Today’s automated cash management solution isn’t just a secure vault for cash—it’s part of a fabric of fintech and value-added services that help retailers to grow their businesses and become more efficient. The benefits start with eliminating all human manual reconciliation and banking tasks. This helps to reduce operating costs and improve speed and accuracy in cash management.
A trusted solution should allow the retailer’s cash to reflect in its bank account on the same day that the cash-in-transit company collects it from their premises. Some fintech providers even offer instant access to the cash, whilst still in the vault, meaning real-time settlements whenever you need it.
From the moment the cash is deposited into the automated business vault, while in transit to a cash processing centre, and until it appears in the bank account, the provider will cover the risk.
Taking the retail business to the next level
But this convenience, security, streamlined cashflow and efficiency is just the beginning. Today’s fintech providers offer a range of value-added services to help retailers take their business to the next level. For example, with Cash Connect, retailers do not need to keep cash onsite for cash-on-delivery. They can make payment to a supplier straight from the cash in their vault via an online portal.
There are also innovative financing offerings that enable them to stock up, invest in a delivery vehicle, or refurbish their store to offer more value to their customers. With Capital Connect, retailers can take advantage of unsecured finance—with growth capital approved in under 24 hours, and with no cumbersome paperwork needed. For those that have a Cash Connect vault, repayments are deducted in small daily instalments directly from the cash in the vault. They can apply via a mobile app.
Templemore-Walters says: “Cash is still king in South Africa, and retailers that are not looking at how they can manage cash more efficiently and effectively are missing a prime opportunity. With costs rising and sales under pressure, automated cash management can help retailers free up funds that they can invest elsewhere in their business—with the benefit of easy access to growth capital for innovation.”