Expert Insight: Is It Time to Review Your Cash-Management Policies?

Take steps to avoid a cab ride to poor practices

Mike Scarpelli, Former c-store retailer

crumpled money

NEW YORK -- While visiting a large metropolitan area recently, I had occasion to hire several cabs to get around. Because of our group size, I sat in the front seat, and when I looked down at the cup holders in the console, I noticed them filled with rolled up paper currency in denominations including $50 bills. In some instances, they were waded up so tightly, it didn’t seem possible to add another bill. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was $1,000 to $2,000 in those cup holders!

Additionally, I must add that this occurred in more than one cab. We have all heard of cab-driver robberies; some with tragic results. Obviously, I was perplexed as to why any cab driver would display so much cash. I don’t know the answer, but I do know they are begging for a robbery. It wouldn’t take much to execute.

About the same time, I heard on the news about a convenience store robbery. During the radio interview with the store’s management, it was said that the robbery was over $1,000 from the cash register. The report raised several red flags in my head:

  1. Why would anyone go on the radio or any other media and broadcast such a large loss?
  2. Why would there be so much cash in the register in the first place? Of course, things can happen in a sales rush, like in peak lottery sales or a large money-order sale, but it is best to follow the procedures that most companies have in place: Drop the money into the safe ASAP!
  3. Did that c-store company have a cash-management procedure in place?

This type of robbery affects us all, especially since it was broadcast via radio. Potentially it sets a stage for additional robberies.

Many, if not all, c-store chains have cash-management procedures in place dictating that there should not be more than “X” amount in a POS at any given time. Many also do random safety checks to make certain this is so.

It is always good to review these policies on a periodic basis to ensure compliance so that everyone understands that it is not just the loss of the cash that is the concern, but also the safety of everyone working at store level. Unfortunately, many of us have witnessed tragic events that arise from robberies, and none of us want to experience a repeat.

For myself, I would rather not ride in a cab with large amounts of currency in full view and did pass up one because of it. All of us want safety in our stores, and sometimes we need to revisit this issue as a friendly reminder to all personnel.