Does Your Bank Have Its Own Self-Service Coin Counter Yet?
Now is the time for banks to put in place self-service coin counters. Why?
In the US, coin-counting machines have become a regular feature. They make the process of trading coins for cash (or depositing them) much easier, doing away with the time and cost of counting coins by hand. It’s as simple as pouring the coins into the machine.
While the number of bank branches in the UK continues to decrease, savvy banks looking to offer that little bit more to customers would do well to invest in coin counters. It gives customers – and particularly business customers – yet another reason to choose your bank branch over another one. Many banks now require customers to count their coins by hand before they deposit them. Who has the time?
Coin-counting machines can prevent queue build-ups in branches and save employees’ time. They are a win-win purchase for your branch.
Choose a machine with a high accuracy rating to ensure your customers get the correct exchange.
New Pound Coin – Effects on Businesses So Far
What effect has the new £1 coin had on businesses so far? The new coin is billed as the most secure coin in the world. It was brought in because the old coin was vulnerable to counterfeiting and there were thought to be some 45 million fakes ones in circulation.
The new coin is modelled on the old threepenny bit, a coin that disappeared after decimalisation was brought in during the early 1970s. It is two-colour, and it incorporates state-of-the-art technology so that it can be checked at all points of the cash cycle.
The old ‘round pound’ ceases as legal tender in October this year. Businesses and customers have been urged to start taking their coins to the bank for exchange. There are some banks and building societies that have said they will accept the old pound coins after October, but only from existing customers. The Royal Mint’s advice for businesses includes making certain coin receiving equipment can take the new pound coin, though the co-circulation of pound coins might make that tricky.
The Independent reports that the change is a difficult one for SMEs, as they have already taken on burdens such as pension auto-enrolment and have the prospect of quarterly tax returns to consider. The head of enterprise at the Institute of Chartered Accountants (England & Wales), Clive Lewis, told the paper that the new pound coin only added to the financial hit that SMEs have taken.
Councils have also expressed their concern, as they will need to adapt parking meters.
Please see our website for our range of Coin Handling products and contact us if you would like to discuss your business requirements.
The New Take on Vending
Picture the vending machine, and a likely image pops to mind—the rectangular object that pops out fizzy drinks, crisps and/or chocolate bars. In other words, something parents and health campaigners try to ban.
But vending machines are changing. Why should they be the preserve of the unhealthy? There is no reason that a vending machine can’t drop a healthy snack into its take-out portal. Especially if it’s positioned in a place where there is demand for such products. A gym, for example, might do well with a vending machine dispensing protein bars and whey shakes. There are now vending machines you can buy milk from too.
Scientists in Chicago have taken it one step further, with a new system that forces the vendee to wait 25 seconds if they choose a junk food product. As a visible countdown begins, the buyer is asked if they want to opt for something healthy instead. The delay led to a 2-5 percent increase in healthy snack choices. It had no impact on sales.
Easter: Smart Retailers Gear Themselves Up for a Busy Weekend
Warm weather and the later date for Easter this year are expected to boost high street spending.
Retail analyst Springboard predicts a 5.4 percent increase in footfall to all outlets, compared to a 1.9 percent drop last year. Easter falls after the national payday too, which indicates that more shoppers will visit retail destinations this weekend.
Springboard said the prediction about high streets reflected their resilience, adaptability and diverse hospitality, allowing them to adapt more quickly than retail parks. It is estimated that 15 percent of Easter sales will take place in food and drink places, up from previous years’ 10 percent. The good weather forecast will no doubt make a difference to entertainment outlets, such as theme parks and those offering family fun.
Smart retailers will be gearing themselves up for a busy weekend.
Asahi Seiko offers state of the art technology and high-quality coin and card handling products for toll systems, parking, e-commerce, amusements and more.
Is bulk entry the future?
Do you stand aimlessly at various types of payment machines rummaging for the exact change, only to then spend more time inserting individual coins one by one?
Yes. Us too! Annoying isn’t it… and not ideal if you’re in a rush.
So what do you think about bulk entry? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could throw in all of your coins at once.
Bulk entry as it is known has been around for a while but is mainly seen at the self service checkout at the supermarket. Have you seen it, have you used it?
What is it? Well as its name suggests you enter coins in bulk, you can throw in a handful of coins and they will be accepted and checked. In a full recycling system if you overpay the required amount then the overpayment can be returned automatically.
The systems are fast and accurate but is bulk the future? Do you trust the technology?
Tweet us your thoughts at @AsahiSeiko
The new 12-sided £1 coin – Is your business ready?
With less then six months to go, the race against time to make sure everything from vending machines to shopping trolleys work with the new £1 coin is on.
The new 12-sided £1 coin’s dimensions are obviously different from the current round £1 coin, but other changes include;
Thickness: 2.8mm – it is thinner than the round £1 coin.
Weight: 8.75g – it is lighter than the round £1 coin.
Diameter: 23.43mm – it is slightly larger than the round £1 coin, the maximum diameter (point to point) is 23.43mm.
So what affect will this have on your vending machines?
The simple answer… It’s difficult to tell without knowing your exact application. You may need adaptations or replacements to your coin handling equipment. Operators of coin handling equipment should contact us as early as possible to identify if any upgrades are necessary.
Important dates to remember:
October 2016 to March 2017 – Preparing for the new £1 coin.
Check whether you operate equipment that handles the £1 coin.
March 2017 to September 2017 – Co-circulation period.
You can accept both coins from your customers.
Autumn 2017 – Demonetisation.
All your coin handling equipment should be able to accept the new £1 coin.
For further info visit: http://www.thenewpoundcoin.com/
Are arcades still a viable business?
The first popular “arcade games” included early games such as shooting galleries, ball-toss games, and the earliest coin-operated machines, such as those that claimed to tell a person’s fortune or that played mechanical music.
In the 1930s the first coin-operated pinball machines emerged. These early amusement machines differed from their later electronic cousins in that they were made of wood. They lacked plungers or lit-up bonus surfaces on the playing field, and used mechanical instead of electronic scoring-readouts. By around 1977 most pinball machines in production switched to using solid-state electronics both for operation and for scoring.
These days though, coin-operated games are far more intelligent as the industry sees a resurgence in arcade amusements popularity.
The question is…. are arcades still a viable business?
The answer: Yes, but they need to adapt to modern times. It’s no longer enough to rely purely on nostalgia.
For many successful arcades, it’s finding a perfect balancing act between old technology and modern business models.
What are your thoughts? Are amusement arcades a dying trend? Or do you frequently visit your local seaside venue?
Tweet us at @AsahiSeiko
Paperless rail travel within the next eight years?
The move is part of plans to push Britain towards a cashless, paperless society in which people use cards or mobile phones to pay for restaurant meals, checking in at airports – and everything in between.
Paper train tickets will become extinct and commuters will have to use smart phones under plans unveiled by ministers. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/12075299/End-of-the-paper-train-ticket-as-railways-go-paperless.html>
The new ticketing system would “improve the experience” of travelling by rail. The rail industry wants to respond to the needs of their customers and understands the importance of modernising train tickets so that passengers are no longer reliant on the old orange paper format.
They are in the early stages of exploring how passengers could pay for and store tickets on their contactless credit or debit cards as part of a wider aim to improve the experience of rail passengers and move towards smarter types of ticket.
But what about those less ‘tech savvy’ commuters amongst us?
Do you think we will see an end to our iconic orange tickets?
Will Paper tickets become a thing of the past?
Why Cash is still King
Cash remains the most popular form of payment, with 57% of people preferring to use notes and coins to cards, according to research.
The importance of cash is often overlooked, but it plays a crucial role in the short-term financial planning for many people.
Consumers are likely to spend less when they hand over cold hard cash versus swiping plastic, since cash feels more like real money. When you have tangible money in your hand and you can physically feel it depleting each time you spend, you are much more likely to notice how much you are spending and be more careful about it.
There are also many drawbacks of regularly using credit and debit cards. Ultimately, they encourage you to spend more than you intended to. Yes…. we’ve all done it! But with cash, spending requires a physical action – actually going to an ATM (and viewing your depleting account balance) prior to entering the store to make your purchase. Oh, the guilt!
Cash has one very clear advantage over using a credit card: If you buy something on your credit card, chances are you’re only making the minimum payment each month. It might take years for you to pay off the balance for a single purchase.
When you swipe plastic, retailers often ask for additional information such as your post code and email address so they can bombard you with offers and news later. Annoying isn’t it! But with cash, you are less likely to receive hundreds of email marketing and when retailers don’t have your email or mailing address, that information can’t be stolen in a data breach.
Cash is certainly KING!
Time is a consumers most important currency
Self-service payments have experienced a huge surge in popularity over the past few years, with self-service technology having transformed entire industries overnight. Businesses are using self-service technology to operate more productively and to better serve their customers.
Time is a consumers most important currency – and they don’t want to waste minutes, or even hours, standing in queues (we’ve all been there). The quicker and more flexible businesses can make consumer interactions, the more likely they are to strengthen customer relationships.
Perhaps the biggest advantage with self-service technology is the added speed with which customers can pay for their purchases – Reducing the length of queues and waiting times, and increasing the frequency of return visits.
Vending machines, ticket purchasing, pay-at-pump petrol, checkout kiosks, parking; self-service payments are a versatile solution for many different applications and sectors, but as consumers become more tech-savvy they will ultimately expect more choice……. where do you think the self-service payments sector is heading next?
Tweet us at @AsahiSeiko