Bulk Note Feeders
Show me the Money!
Bulk Note Feeders are Key to Convenience and Reliability
By Andrew Osborne, Marketing Manager, MEI Retail
New payment technologies, like bulk note feeding, enable kiosk OEMs to integrate new user interfaces that make it more convenient to pay with cash. Already being integrated into smart safes to help retailers secure cash faster and reduce cash management costs, bulk note feeding is a new optional component that can also enhance kiosks that handle multiple banknotes per transaction.
A bulk note feeder (BNF) customers to insert multiple banknotes at a time into a kiosk, instead of feeding notes one by one, making a BNF ideal for transactions involving more than one banknote, such as cash deposit, bill payment, etc. A BNF forms part of the banknote acceptor component of a kiosk. Customers can place a bunch or stack of up to 50 notes into the BNF tray. The BNF-equipped kiosk quickly begins processing this stack of notes by reading, validating, counting and securely storing them. Meanwhile, customers are free to continue with other transactions.
Self-service systems with a BNF attachment enhance the consumer experience, removing the need for banknotes to be inserted one by one and allowing more time for visual displays at the application to be absorbed. Through its ability to automate the transaction process for scenarios involving multiple notes, the use of a BNF is particularly suited for facilitating cash deposits and financial self-services, including utility bill payment, self-service money transfers, deposit applications and other financial kiosk applications requiring high-quality validation.
Ideally a BNF is an optional enhancement to the note acceptor component, and hence offers more options to a kiosk designer, with the same banknote acceptor being available with or without BNF capabilities. As such, it is only as reliable as the note acceptor to which it is attached. In any kiosk involving financial transactions, it is critical for retailers to invest in the most dependable acceptors, because it directly impacts the kiosk’s ability to complete transactions.
For maximum convenience, look for a bulk note feeder that can be partnered with an easily transportable, large-capacity, robust and secure cash box.
Selecting the Right BNF for Your System
With multiple suppliers offering BNF devices, it is important for kiosk developers and deployers to understand the key features and differentiators amongst those available:
Available as a stand-alone unit or add-on to existing components: a BNF and acceptor combo is available for kiosk OEMs designing new systems. For existing applications, the MEI CASHFLOW BNF is the only bulk feeder component that can be added to an existing single feed note acceptor, the CASHFLOW SCL.
Reliability: kiosk components must remain reliable over time and with heavy use. The consumer’s experience should be enhanced by the addition of the BNF, not degraded. A jam frustrates customers and results in fewer transactions and more service fees for the operator. The MEI BNF aims to beat jam rates of 1 in 30,000 banknotes. It is a mistake to compromise reliability for price when selecting a bulk note feeder or any other payment component, because in practice, lost sales and mounting service fees soon outweigh any initial cost savings.
Processing rejected notes: because of the validation process, the note acceptor rejects banknotes if suspect. The handling of these rejected banknotes is crucial. Ideally, a rejected note should be stored separately from those notes still waiting to be fed and the user alerted with an audible alarm. Some bulk note feeders will return the rejected banknote into the pile of those waiting to be fed, allowing it to be re-fed and rejected again. This can both confuse and annoy the consumer. Other BNFs let rejected notes fall to the floor, which is also unacceptable. The MEI-brand BNF has a separate reject tray to collect any rejected notes safely.
With consumers’ increasing accessibility to kiosks and self-service systems, a solution’s success can depend on the integration of quality components, incorporating new technologies and increasing convenience. Retailers need to provide their customers with the freedom to choose the form of payment they require or prefer, including cash, and a BNF makes it faster and more convenient to pay in situations when multiple banknotes are used.
Smart safes – also known as electronic cash safes, cash-counting safes or intelligent safes – are rapidly being adopted by convenience stores, fast food restaurants and other chain retail outlets globally. Smart safes with bulk note feeders allow management to deposit a stack of up to 50 notes automatically.
Employees responsible for counting cash can then focus on other duties while the BNF feeds individual notes into the smart safe through the note acceptor. The BNF provides the same conveniences associated with a traditional smart safe, including fast validating and securing of cash, automated reporting of deposits and the facilitation of closed-loop cash management with CIT and armoured car services, while making management’s time in the back office more efficient.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007