Businesses can help customers make the most of their loose coin, says Cummins Allison

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Businesses preparing for the cashless society might be missing out by not helping customers make the most of the loose coins they have right now, Cummins Allison, the provider of coin, currency and cheque processing solutions, has said.

With almost 29 billion coins still in circulation in the UK, retailers and financial institutions need to encourage consumers to bring coin in-store; whether to spend, pay in or exchange. For instance, retailers can use automated coin counting machines to help customers change their coins into easier-to-spend and carry notes, with the additional benefits of encouraging customers to shop in-store, providing additional revenue streams.

"For retailers, the attraction of automated coin counting machines should be clear: it's much easier for consumers to shop if they are carrying pounds rather than pennies," said Andrew Crowson, managing director of Cummins Allison UK. "Retailers who offer the option to change coins will see benefits including more customers, who will be able to spend their newly-changed cash in-store; increased revenue from the machines themselves; improved customer services for shoppers who want to dispose of cumbersome change; and a better way to recognise and remove fake coins from circulation, rather than relying on shoppers and staff to spot tell-tale differences."

Even if coins were phased out tomorrow, processing those in circulation would take a counting machine operating non-stop at peak performance almost 13 and a half years. As well as retailers, automated coin counting machines can also provide major benefits for financial institutions and their customers; giving consumers the ability to deposit large volumes of coin in their account without waiting for a teller to count their cash.

As well as reducing waiting times for all customers, it frees up more time for tellers who no longer have to spend time in the back-office counting coin during the day. As a result, financial institutions can focus on other, more meaningful exchanges with customers to ensure that they are connecting with their customer base and building the goodwill that is critical in a new era of consumer-oriented banking.

"Whether a retailer or financial institution, those businesses that make the best use of automated coin counters will be royalty in an era where cash is still very much king," continued Crowson. "This doesn't mean that the benefits themselves will be automatic. Instead, organisations need to consider exactly how and where they make use of machines.

For instance, the location is key; to ensure customers can easily use machines without inconveniencing themselves or others. Businesses will need to consider the limited floor space that machines take up, and ensure they have a footprint that allows space for other, complimentary services. And the performance of machines is also key: consider counting and sorting speeds when evaluating machine options. However, organisations that can address these issues will be in a much stronger position to increase footfall and revenues."

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