Guest View: A Return to Cash & Checks?

Cummins Allison on how retailers can improve low-tech payment processing

Cummins Allison

MT. PROSPECT, Ill. -- The recent security breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus stores across the United States underline why credit- and debit-card security is a growing concern for even some of the nation’s largest retailers. Data from a recent Nilson Report found that credit-card fraud was an $11-billion global industry in 2013. The risk of losing valuable financial information due to digital security breaches is clearly real for many Americans and may lead consumers to utilize cash and checks for day-to-day purchases.

Cummins Allison, a leading innovator of coin, currency and check processing technology, as well as ATM solutions, below discusses the security advantages of checks and cash, as well as how advanced processing equipment can help businesses accurately and efficiently process these payment forms in the back office.

Consumers Demand Maximum Financial Security

As much as technology has advanced in recent years to move toward more convenient payment methods, credit- and debit-card security issues continue to be a substantial limiting factor in the widespread use of these tools.

Industry experts often tout the convenience of paying with plastic, as mobile devices, e-commerce portals and in-person cash registers are all able to process cards relatively quickly. However, these transaction methods contain a multitude of financial risks that may lead many consumers to rely more heavily on their paper currency and checkbooks when making purchases.

The Las Cruces Sun-News argued that the financial services industry is currently behind the times when it comes to ensuring maximum security of information stored in banking accounts. The publication said many of the major credit-card providers, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover have drafted a plan to release smarter and more secure cards by 2015 due to the Target security breach. However, there is no system in place to prevent more account breaches from happening in the meantime.

Bringing Innovation to Low-Tech World of Cash and Checks

Shoppers can easily avoid the security risks associated with credit cards by making purchases with cash and checks. However, retailers must be careful not to spend excessive amounts of time counting cash or depositing checks in the back office. Investing in a high-quality cash and check scanner is one of the easiest ways to improve the efficiency of these operations. With these machines, tasks that usually take hours can be completed in a matter of minutes.

Powerful cash and check scanners continue to be an important investment for retailers and many other businesses, as credit cards and electronic payments sometimes prove to be an unsafe transaction method. Not only will businesses be able to boost productivity, but they will also be more prepared for larger changes in consumer behaviors—especially as more Americans consider using cash in lieu of credit cards to avoid security risks.

Cummins Allison, Mount Prospect, Ill., is a global leader in developing solutions that quickly and efficiently count, sort and authenticate currency, checks and coin. The company also offers a complete line of full-function automated teller machines (ATMs).