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ALVARA at the cash industry meet-up: CashCon explores the future of cash and various other aspects

Robert Wolf presents ALVARA | Digital Solutions at CashCon 2021.

Leipzig, 09.02.2021 Together with GS1 Germany and the EHI Retail Institute, ALVARA | Digital Solutions held CashCon 2021 virtually for the first time on the 27 and 28 January 2021. The discussion among approximately 150 representatives from the world of politics, financial institutions, retail, the cash-in-transit sector and associations primarily focused on the future of cash. Cash usage has declined due to the coronavirus pandemic and is creating new challenges for the industry. The organisers appraisal was very positive.

“CashCon was originally meant to be a face-to-face event in Leipzig. Due to the current situation, we switched to a virtual format at short notice,” explains Thomas Vietze, CEO of ALVARA | Digital Solutions. “Feedback from the participants was very good.”

Contributions from the event guests were equally impressive. These included, Wolfgang Kubicki, Vice Chairman of the FDP and Vice-President of the German Bundestag, who clearly spoke out in favour of keeping cash. The defence of freedom also includes the defence of cash (cf.: https://www.geldinstitute.de/networking/2021/cashcon-2021—ueber-die-zukunft-des-bargelds.html).

“Cash is an indispensable element of a functioning democracy,”2 explained Andrea Nitsche (cf.: https://www.cash-con.de/programm) in her presentation of the initiative “Bargeld zählt” [Cash counts]. The initiative advocates policies that ensure cash acceptance, availability and access. And her statement that cash is a guarantee of privacy protection was met with great approval.

The speech by the lawyer Christian Solmecke was just as informative: He explained that traders and retailers cannot refuse to accept cash, unless they have explicitly informed the consumer of this before they pay.

Numerous examples of best practice from retailers showed how to optimise and digitise processes, and how to reduce costs. For example, dm drogerie markt described its path to a mobile and paperless office. Administrative activities were significantly reduced through the restructuring of the monetary economy. Paper receipts for the handover of secure cash bags – and what’s more, thermal paper that needs to be disposed of as hazardous waste – have now been replaced with digital receipts on the ALVARA logistics app when cash-in-transit companies collect money. The app’s digital driver legitimation not only enables compliance with the GPDR by eliminating the need for driver lists printed on paper. For branch employees, it also means increased security during the handover of cash and enables the generation of a one-time code for safes. Edeka Fürstenberg, Netto and Globus provided valuable insights into their current processes including their coin service, cash cycle and technical main cash desk.

“Recycling systems are becoming increasingly popular among cash handlers in Germany. In this context there has been a strong increase in the reporting of processed notes and coins to the German Federal Bank,” says Bernd Hohlfeld CEO of ALVARA | Digital Solutions summing up cash logistics, the focus of the second day of the event. This also means that new reporting solutions are needed. To support cash recycling, the German Federal Bank is currently developing an automatic reporting option for the automated exchange of master data and operational data in the banking sector. Dr. Harald Olschok spoke about the BDGW initiative “Cash – More than Notes and Coins” and ongoing work to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for the transport of money and valuables. In his talk, Heinz Spiegelmacher from Ziemann illustrated the challenges that organisations face in terms of cash and what possible solutions there are.

The conference was rounded off with an appearance from the sponsors G+D, Anton Debatin, BMWL, CIMA, Gunnebo, Insys and NGZ, and the presentation of their solutions for an efficient, transparent and secure cash cycle.

The next CashCon will take place on 26 and 27 January 2022.

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