To Cash or Not to Cash? That Is the Question!


Electronics retailer Gravis has drawn a clear line in the sand: around 40 branches of this German chain will no longer be accepting cash. The company’s decision has been met with great surprise, as coins and bills are still very popular in Germany. So, most retailers haven’t considered whether to axe or keep cash just yet. Rather, they are much more concerned with the question of how to optimize cost-intensive cash handling processes.

Cashless – Not an Option for Many

After Gravis announced its decision, many have been wondering whether the cashless age is beginning. Tech magazine CHIP asked major German retailers their opinions. The result? Most retailers, including the Rewe Group, Aldi Nord, Netto and Edeka, want to leave the decision of how to pay to their customers. So, the trend isn’t moving away from cash but rather to a range of payment methods. Whether it’s at a classic staffed checkout or a self-checkout system, mainstay retailers will continue to accept coins and bills in future.

However, it is still clear that retailers should consider more efficient processes when it comes to cash management. Up to now, this field has been dominated by complex cash handling processes, arduous supply procedures and a lack of transparency. This also results in increasing cost pressure for those responsible. There are various software solutions on offer to tackle these challenges. Switching to digital processes may contribute to the continued acceptance of physical money – without unnecessary strain on traders.

Security, Transparency and Efficiency: The Trinity of Digital Processes

They all have one thing in common: digital solutions can optimize the entire cash lifecycle – from the point of sale via interfaces with cash-in-transit providers right through to dealings with the Federal Bank. The limelight is often given to a high level of security, which is a positive byproduct of automated processes. Discontinuity and manual data entry are replaced by seamless documentation. Various sources of errors can therefore be minimized through digitization.

Retailers are also treated to a rapid increase in efficiency after introducing software solutions. Time-consuming procurement processes are replaced by simple change orders. The applications’ intuitive user experience also contributes towards the optimal use of resources. Thorough documentation of the cash lifecycle allows these solutions to provide further transparency. All data and transfers of liability are collected in real time within the digital product, such as the ICC platform, where they are then stored safely.

Cash Management: Software Solutions for Retail

ALVARA | Digital Solutions already boasts a wide range of software solutions for retailers. Either separately or in combination with one another, they provide various starting points for better, more modern cash handling – securely, efficiently and transparently.

The ALVARA Interactive Cash Control Platform (ICC) manages the entire cash lifecycle between retailers, cash-in-transit companies, banks and the Federal Bank. This ensures a clear overview of each transfer of liability from cash handover to digital transfer. To maximize added value, retailers can flexibly use the various ICC modules as a platform solution or on the ICC mobile app. One example makes the benefits clear. Together with cash-in-transit companies, employees can use the ICC app for digital driver verification as well as electronic receipts, making the process both faster and more secure.

The ALVARA coin marketplace lets retailers access coins independently from cash-in-transit companies and banks. The goal? Anyone in urgent need of cash can quickly cover their demand using this trade portal. The coin marketplace is designed to match those in need of coins with those with an excess supply. This low-cost approach allows retailers to stay flexible. Then there’s the easy payment – by bank transfer, Giropay, PayPal or Paydirekt – and shipping options such as DHL, courier or pick-up. Another special feature: retailers can purchase loose coins as well as rolls.

Cash recyclers are par for the course in retail. They’re a must-have especially when retailers want to utilize automated cash handling processes. But the solution only really reveals its full potential for added value when integrated into POS software. ALVARA’s POS Connector creates this connection for retailers: Middleware for Front Office Cash Recycler Management can be installed locally onto POS software systems. This ensures reliable communication between both applications. The POS Connector can even cope with multiple currencies and languages without issue.

Find all digital cash management solutions for retail here at a glance.

Want to optimize your cash processes with ALVARA I Digital Solutions? We will be glad if you contact us!