Asia Cash Cycle Seminar
ICCOS Asia Post Conference Review
Senior figures within the Asian banking community came together for four days at the end of September in Macau, China for the seventh annual Asia Cash Cycle Seminar (ICCOS) held by Currency Research. From September 26-29 over two hundred delegates representing thirty five countries enjoyed presentations from Central Banks, CMC’s, Commercial Banks, and many other industry leading professionals who divulged some of the latest data, insight, and predictions surrounding the Cash Cycle. Many relished the opportunity to see where cash would be headed in the Asia region including the Reserve Bank of India who stated:
“It was very useful (ICCOS) especially since I could share the experiences of many central bankers across Asia and Africa. It has given me a lot of inputs which would help me with currency management in my jurisdiction. The seminar helped in understanding the huge technological needs in cash processing i.e. at the initial stage of printing bank notes, processing of bank notes and destruction of bank notes and how the various vendors keep up with the changes required in technology.”
Mr Gonzalo Santamaria, Vice President at Currency Research was on hand to provide his thoughts:
“Asia is certainly one of the most diverse regions when considering the Cash Cycle, there is no one-size fits all model that can be applied. The coming together of all industry stakeholders in an open forum is crucial for the betterment of the Cash Cycle and the sharing of ideas among industry peers secures its future. The lessons learnt here can be applied quickly achieving greater efficiencies while reducing costs, which should be the goal for any organization focused on improving the industry.”
The four days boasted a wide variety of activities for the delegation to savour, and utilise to enhance their knowledge of various elements of the Cash Cycle. Monday had two main points of focus, primarily an opportunity for all Central Bank representatives to meet in a closed door environment for the Central Bank Summit which discussed cash circulation models, and how to ensure that notes in general transactional circulation are truly fit for purpose. The interactive forum provided many with the opportunity to express their countries policies, opinions and plans relating to their unique country model, in doing so, developing nations or those considering a re-design of their current model, received some of the freshest and arguably most relevant information they need to shape their future. The Central Bank of Swaziland aptly stating their seminar highlight was “The networking opportunities with like-minded subject matter experts in the pre-seminar Central Bank Summit” – high praise indeed!
The three hours of Central Bank Summit was followed up by a timely workshop hosted by the Asia Cash Management Association, and kindly moderated by Jardine Lloyd Thompson and Centium Consulting. Entitled Insurance and Cash Reconciliation the well attended workshop focused on key issues such as how to improve cover, mitigate risks and reduce current/future premiums which many cash management companies found to be very insightful and a potentially lucrative cost saving exercise. The question and answer session with industry leading experts from an outside sector really allowed CMC’s to explore the subject in more detail and gather information from a fresh perspective.
Whilst the workshop concluded the rest of the delegation gathered within the Sponsor Exhibit Area for the Welcome Reception, the packed room created quite an atmosphere and provided the ideal networking opportunity for this year’s event sponsors to demonstrate their latest, cutting edge technologies and industry solutions to a wide variety of potential customers and returning contacts. As one of the Platinum Sponsors G4S explained, it is “An excellent opportunity to network, learn and collaborate with leading industry professionals”.
Gathering the industry in one place has always attracted some of the best speakers to the stage to present on their chosen specialty, and China proved to be a very tempting proposition to many within the Cash Cycle Community. On the first full day of presentations, speakers included Reserve Banks, Central Banks, Commercial banks, industry suppliers, and one curiosity! An outsider to the world of cash, so to speak. Pauline Sahetapy from VISA took to the stage to represent the other side of the payments landscape, namely card payment technologies, and discussed “Growing Electronic Payments Through Enabling Policies”. The delegation seemed to focus intently on the presentation to understand how this competitive element is expanding, or arguably encroaching on the cash cycles landscape. Ms Sahetapy provided a plethora of statistical evidence as well insightful case studies that certainly left many afterward buzzing with ideas and fresh perspectives on the industry and its future.
Once concluded the delegation took the chance to sit in on a variety of Sponsor Breakout Meetings, in various locations around the seminar floor. Undoubtedly one of the main attractions for those attending the Asia Cash Cycle Seminar (ICCOS) these meetings provide the ideal opportunity to come together with sponsors and drill down on the details of certain industry problems and what can be done to best solve them either through the intelligent application of knowledge based systems, or new hardware.
Of notable interest was Cash Processing Solutions first Cash Cycle Seminar breakout session, clearly many of the delegation were interested to hear the latest news regarding the transition away from De La Rue and what the future held. Over seventy five people entered the room to listen in, with the organizers grabbing extra chairs to accommodate the overflowing room. Jamie Cockerell from CPS spoke for forty five minutes on Automation and how it can be used in Cash Processing which provided hints of the future direction for the organization and what they have in store. It may have been one of the largest breakout sessions Currency Research has witnessed for an Asia Cash Cycle Seminar (ICCOS) and it’s testament to industry stakeholders thirst to understand the latest information and technologies present in the marketplace.
The afternoon proved to be of great interest for many involved in Cash Handling and Planning, Catherine Ashiley from the Central Bank of Ghana took to the stage and presented the latest data from their Cash Centre Project: From Planning to Implementation. Focusing on the core elements involved such as; automation, currency processing and enhancing Clean Note Policy, stimuli for increasing vault and processing capacity, planning out the process involved, and ultimately ending on the importance of sequencing the implementation processes in order to maximise efficiencies and productivity within the centre. The presentation obviously thrilled the audience given the level of participation in the question and answer segment that concluded the second session. As ARCA a key supporting sponsor for the event quite aptly highlighted the session was “informative, valuable education on cash processes, trends, issues and solutions that are present and foreseeable into the coming years”. With the day at a close many took the opportunity to engage with their industry peers at the Network Cocktail Reception sponsored this year by Brinks, before heading out for an evening of relaxation exploring the Portuguese colonial architecture in Macau’s old town.
Business Continuity Planning and Compliance were the focus for the next morning, with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas stepping up to the stage and providing a comprehensive overview of their processes, plans and strategies for overcoming arguably some of the toughest environmental conditions a Central Bank could face as well as exploring the ramifications of man-made effects upon their operational activities. The twenty minutes provided many in the room with first had accounts of situations they were most unlikely to face climatically, however, the information was crucial to understand, incredibly insightful, and worthwhile implementing should the worst ever happen. Shortly after Iluminada Sicat had finished highlighting the Philippine experience, Johnny Mak from the United States Secret Service took to the stage and spoke about the counterfeit trends for the US dollar within the South East Asia region, naturally much of what was spoken about was confidential and could not be repeated, however the delegation very much appreciated the fantastic insight and stunning work that the secret service put in to beat local counterfeit issues.
After a short break, quick snack, and some further Breakout Session Meetings many choose to sit in on the Panel Discussion. Undoubtedly these are becoming a focus for the Cash Cycle Seminars and as the Central Bank of Swaziland stated “The panel discussions covered relevant topical issue and one was able to glean best practice from the other countries’ case studies and experiences. Making it a very worthwile seminar indeed”. Currency Research in recent months has teamed up with Cash Services UK a regulatory body, which is keen to promote cash usage and therefore consumer choice within the UK. The panel were assembled from around the globe and from various elements of the industry with the intention of providing a regional view, but with global understanding of consumers and their impact on strategies for the Cash Cycle. Many lauded the panel as a success and should you not have attended the event, the partnership has gone to some great lengths to include free audio and visual content on the ICCOS Asia website. As one delegate pointed out “It was my first event and thought it was well organised with good content…and the pre and post event Webinars was a great idea.” This information be downloaded and listened to at any time. One would strongly recommend you do so as the knowledge and professionalism of the panel gives you a glimpse into what is on offer at any one of the Cash Cycle Seminars (ICCOS) held across the world.
Where do all the Coins Go? By Raman Krishnan from Bank Negara Malaysia, drew the event to a close and provided some wonderful statistical evidence for coins in Malaysia, which account for just over 3% of currency in circulation. He spoke in great detail of Malaysia’s ingenious placing of Coin Deposit Machines (outside major hypermarkets and public convenience stores) to re-circulate coins and how through the Central Banks example, many financial institutions deployed their own CoDM’s. Such information and lessons learnt will prove useful for other nations currently examining their own coin recirculation policy and the future steps they might take to increase recirculation instead of production.
With all the presentations completed, Tan Chee Meng from Currency Research took to the stage to thank delegates for their participation, input and time, but all was not finished. After presenting the customary mosaic to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Mr. Tan unveiled a new logo for the Cash Cycle Seminars, that will be rolled out worldwide. Mr. Tan also announced to the eagerly awaiting crowd that the location of the next Asia Cash Cycle Seminar (ICCOS) will be Bangkok Thailand, September 11-14 2017.
Thursday marked the last day of the Seminar and played host to a range of presentations under the banner Banknote Production: Where the Cash Cycle Begins. Michael Andersen from the Reserve Bank of Australia provided an enlightening presentation on Australia’s Next Generation of Banknotes which provided an in-depth analysis of why and how Australia decided to issue a new family of notes in September.
Overall many felt the event was a great success and it was a credit to Currency Research’s roster of Seminars as the Central Bank of Thailand stated “The seminar was an ‘eye opener.’ The information presented was really beneficial and informative. The presenters were very knowledgeable.” Backed up the Bank of Papua New Guinea who felt “The Seminar generally is excellent as it covered various topics in relation to Cash Cycles for both notes and coins.”
Be sure to visit the ICCOS Asia website for all the latest industry news and information relating to the seminar.