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Cash Customers Could be a Mixed Blessing this Holiday Season

Are You Following Your Cash Handling Procedures?

Anyone who follows current events knows that this has been a stellar year for hackers—over the last 12 months, several big name retailers including Home Depot, Michaels and Target have all experienced breaches of sensitive consumer data. According to Forbes.com1, Target estimates that the data breach to their company represents a net loss of $148 million dollars to shareholders. And of course, it’s nearly impossible to calculate the longer-term financial impact due to loss of consumer confidence.

As this study by creditcards.com indicates2, 45% of once-loyal customers who were polled said they would, “definitely or probably avoid one of their regular stores over the holidays if that retailer had experienced a data breach.” But the implications actually run much deeper and broader—for example, 48% of cardholders say that security breaches also make them more likely to pay with cash regardless of retailer or merchant.

For retail and restaurant chains, customers using cash means fewer transaction fees, but it also poses a special challenge when it comes to managing risk. When you combine cash-centric customers with the inevitable Black Friday frenzy, the risks become obvious; stacks of cash are simply more attractive to thieves, whether the threat is coming from employees or from felons off the street. When cash is present, tight security must be present as well.

Here are a few cash handling tips:

  1. Cash Counts
    1. Cash Counts should happen at the beginning and end of all shifts.
    2. Excessive over- and under-rings, voids and refund activity should be recorded. Video should be used in conjunction with an exception report to review specific, problematic transactions to identify the problem.
  2. Cash Drops
    1. Both the manager and the employee count current balance in the counting area.
    2. Both the employee and the manager should count and sign-off on the amount removed from the drawer.
    3. Both the employee and the manager should witness the deposit into the safe or deposit box.
  3. Cash Transactions with Customers
    1. Clearly state the cost of the purchase.
    2. State the payment amount received.
    3. Set the received payment atop the drawer until the change is paid out. This will ensure that there is no confusion on the part of the employee nor the customer about the payment that was rendered by the customer.
    4. Count back the change – again, to minimize the confusion on both the part of the employee and the customer.
    5. Validate with video – is a pile of change being handed back to the customer or are bills being handed back individually?

Traditional surveillance systems only record a visual impression of employees performing transactions which can leave you at risk for sleight of hand and other tricks employees use to get cash out of the drawer and into their pockets. For transparency into cash handling activities, you must align actual point of sale (POS) data with recorded video footage; this is where Envysion comes in. By pulling both of those elements together, Envysion grants you full visibility into every keystroke of every transaction. In other words, when your registers are open and the cameras recording, you can account for every penny with hard data evidence needed to take appropriate actions, close potential theft cases quickly and move on with your business.

And that’s just one small piece of what Envysion offers—video-driven business intelligence that delivers game-changing insights across every aspect of business operations and customer experience.

1Samantha Sharf, Target Shares Tumble As Retailer Reveals Cost Of Data Breach, 08/05/2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthasharf/2014/08/05/target-shares-tumble-as-retailer-reveals-cost-of-data-breach/

2Karen Haywood Queen, Poll: Nearly half of cardholders likely to avoid stores hit by data breaches, October 19, 2014, http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/shopping-after-breach.php

About the Author — Brad Wright

Brad is responsible for helping Envysion’s wireless customers understand the best ways to use video based business intelligence to combat losses. In his time at Envysion he has dedicated himself to researching and consulting with wireless dealers to understand the drivers behind how they lose money. Brad’s background as a customer relations manager for Avnet and GE and a VP of Business development for several startup companies lends a unique perspective on how to manage customers and employees, so that the companies best interests are top of mind. Brad played varsity lacrosse and earned his Bachelors in Psychology from Bucknell University.

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