Skip to main content

Managing Cash in Retail Stores


While mobile payments are increasing, cash receipts still remain a healthy percentage of total sales and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Fifth Third Bank’s John Bultema discusses the proper management of cash in retail stores and solutions aimed at improving store efficiency and reducing costs.

What is the current status of cash handling in retail stores? Are cash receipts in stores on the decline?

Overall, cash as a form of receipts has had a very slow to marginal decline within retail. In some industries, such as restaurant, convenience store and fueling stations, cash usage has remained relatively flat.

While mobile payments are getting a lot of attention, the early results show that existing debit and credit users are the ones transitioning to mobile, not cash users. As the value of cash receipts declines, the cost of handling cash increases on a relative basis.

How do retailers typically handle cash receipts?

While it varies, retailers will generally have a system in place that involves multiple individuals responsible for handling cash, counting down drawers throughout the day, dual control processes for the end-of-day deposit process, and responsibility for counting down or building till amounts for the next-business-day activity.

Implementing a program such as Fifth Third Bank’s Currency Processing Solutions (CPS) allows retail managers the ability to eliminate many of the time-consuming back-office functions. This gives retailers the opportunity to free up valuable key store resources and allow them to spend more time focused on creating a more personalized and memorable shopping experience for their customers.

What challenges do retailers face in managing cash receipts?

There are several factors motivating the retail industry to think differently about handling cash by leveraging technology, data and automation to gain efficiencies, improve working capital and create scale.

We are also hearing a fairly consistent message from clients that managing multiple providers can be a time-consuming and expensive task. Having a single point of contact to manage the relationships on their behalf allows them to focus on activities more relevant to their internal and external clients.

How does Fifth Third Bank’s Currency Processing Solutions work?

Fifth Third Bank’s CPS is an innovative, remote cash-capture solution helping automate the cash-handling process beginning with the time clients collect the cash payment to the time the money is deposited and credited into their account.

The CPS daily provisional credit helps clients consolidate banking relationships, improve working capital, reduce the risk of fraud and theft and facilitate the bank-reconciliation process by virtually eliminating adjustments.

Based on the client’s business needs, cash can be retrieved from the smart safe by an armored carrier for delivery to the cash vault. Information from the device is then used to provide clients with provisional credit based on the prior day’s activities.

Fifth Third manages all aspects of the solution, including the smart-safe hardware, software and maintenance supplier. In addition, we manage the scheduling of pick-up and delivery, implementation, program management, online reporting, portal, and 24/7 customer service as a single point of contact for our clients. Additional information can be found by going to

What advantages does it offer over other solutions?

CPS offers all of the traditional benefits of using a smart safe solution, such as reduction in cash-handling expenses; labor reduction and reallocation; and safety and security of employees, customers and cash.

The managed-services approach within CPS is the major differentiator, offering clients more benefits, such as supplier management, program and implementation management, 24/7 dedicated client support, and real-time information reporting with proactive notification on events and activity, all through a single point of contact with Fifth Third Bank.

If you could give retailers one piece of advice when it comes to managing the cash they receive from customers, what would it be?

We believe that retailers should strongly consider deploying a comprehensive deposit solution across their enterprise that uses a combination of branch banking, virtual cash vaults with armored car service, smart safe and recycler solutions. Such factors as risk, location, cash value and amounts, and available resources should be factored into choosing the best solution for your business.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds