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Aren't Using TCRs Yet? You May be Missing Out...

Updated: Jan 29

by Darren Smith | Originally published by CUInsight

Staffing, security, and cash handling are all issues that continue to pose significant challenges for credit unions today. And, while many members are taking care of business online, fewer branch employees can quickly lead to longer wait times and other vulnerabilities.


But you might be surprised at the ease with which some of these issues can be addressed… with teller cash recyclers (TCRs).

Address Staffing Concerns

Between the Great Resignation, historically low unemployment rates, and the retirement of Baby Boomers, finding and retaining qualified talent for your credit union can be an uphill battle. To compound the problem, understaffing puts a heavy burden on those already employed. This frequently results in high employee turnover, lower productivity, and a decrease in member satisfaction.


TCRs provide one potential solution to alleviate staffing burdens in credit union branches. These automated devices sit nicely next to or under the teller counter to count, validate, store, and dispense cash quickly and accurately. By automating routine cash-handling tasks, TCRs significantly reduce the amount of time credit union employees must spend manually handling incoming and outgoing cash. This time savings alleviates a major employee headache and frees up tellers to focus more on providing exceptional member service.


Reduce Costly Teller Errors

Let's face it - cash handling can be tedious work. And when people are bogged down with repetitive tasks, mistakes inevitably happen. Whether it's miscounting currency or handing out the wrong amount to members, teller cash discrepancies cost credit unions time and money.


Research indicates that the average teller makes about six cash errors per month. Apply that statistic across all branches over a year, and it's easy to see how minor mistakes add up. However, with TCRs, credit union staff members can avoid the tedious and occasionally disgusting task of manually counting and verifying each incoming and outgoing bill. Instead, they send every transaction through the TCR. The TCR then dramatically boosts efficiency and decreases the opportunities for human error by robotically counting cash at speeds up to five times faster than a teller.


Enhance In-Branch Security 

The safety of staff and members is another continual concern for credit unions. Fortunately, reducing the amount of cash readily accessible to employees can limit loss exposure in the event of theft or robbery. Cash contained within TCRs is secure and out of site. In addition, most TCRs are designed to integrate with the credit union’s alarm system and have specific alarm triggers.


In the event of a robbery, TCRs can be set to provide a specific amount of cash that will satisfy a criminal’s demand without providing additional cash access.


Limiting manual cash handling also allows credit unions to reduce risky and expensive armored car pickups and deliveries. Instead of scheduling frequent trips to transport excess cash to an offsite vault, TCRs let you recycle it right inside the branch. Decreasing touch points with currency enhances safety all around. 

More Cash Availability

TCRs enable credit unions to instantly reuse deposited cash for member withdrawals rather than waiting for processing. Tellers will know they have a full cash drawer and members can feel confident that ample cash is on hand to accommodate transactions.


Studies show that nearly half of credit union members visit branches specifically for access to tellers. So, providing fast, convenient, face-to-face service is essential for member retention. TCRs help front-line staff deliver the high-quality experience members expect.


Invest Idle Funds More Profitably

The old method of keeping cash in the branch isn’t just a hassle for staff, it is also costing the credit union money. Why? Because funds sitting in a vault aren’t out there being invested and gaining interest.


Affordable TCRs introduce a more efficient cash-handling system to the credit union, freeing up a significant amount of capital for the institution to put toward more profitable investments. Even an incremental lending increase of one-tenth of a percent due to better cash optimization can quickly deliver serious material revenue gain.


Let's consider a hypothetical example. A credit union with $100 million in total shares might hold $3 million or more in excess branch cash reserves. By implementing TCRs to lower cash needs by even 15%, they could reallocate $450,000 into additional auto loans bearing a three percent rate. That easily translates into an extra $13,500 in annual interest income.


Now multiply that by the number of branches, and it’s easy to see how teller cash recycling technology can meaningfully impact a credit union’s bottom line over time.


The Future is Now

While TCR adoption across a total credit union landscape still sits under nine percent, growth rates continue gaining momentum. The benefits these machines bring to improving efficiency, security, and service have become too significant to ignore.


Despite the hype around digital payments, cash remains a vital part of daily transactions for the foreseeable future. Yet labor, safety, and cash-handling challenges show no signs of abating. TCRs represent a proven way for credit unions not yet employing them to get ahead of the curve. The time to leverage the power of automated cash recycling is now.


Find Out How Your Financial Institution Can Benefit from TCRs

Darren Smith, Vice President, ATM Management  • 919-534-3232 • Schedule a Meeting 

Craig Helmers, Vice President, ATM Management


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