Editor’s Note: First, let us emphasize that Counting On Currency is not in the business of offering advertorials to industry suppliers. We are in the business of writing about challenges and issues facing the currency industry. We are also in the business of postulating novel concepts and challenging our readers to consider ideas “outside the box”. Lastly we are in the business of reporting on new ground-breaking ideas, regardless of origin (government, central bank, industry supplier or related industry news sources). This article falls into the latter category – we offer it not as a recommendation or confirmation of the solution, but simply as a newsworthy new idea.
After writing many articles about hypothetical next generation cash management solutions, I was surprised to learn that one company has actually embraced the concept and taken the leap to develop a holistic Bank / CIT / Retailer solution supported in “the cloud”. Cloud computing has become a bit of a buzz-word concept in many industries and yet the benefits of cloud based solutions have yet to find their way into the currency industry. After having stumbled on Cirreon, I can now state that the next generation cash management solution is in the cloud!
The benefits of a next generation cash management system in the cloud are numerous. Amongst the most obvious are a virtually infallible computer support network, an always-on communications system and an application independent reporting and data-mining capability. A less obvious benefit is the enablement of the “network effect“. Simply put, the network effect brings value to the network participants passively. The more participants there are in a network, the more valuable the network becomes – the best example of this is the telephone. With the meteoric growth of telephone networks in the early 1900’s came the ability for anyone to communicate with almost anyone else without having to leave their home or place of business. Each new network subsrciber brought value to other simply by joining the network. In a similar fashion, participants in a holistic next generation cloud-based cash management solution will bring benefits to all network members. The more data that is available regarding the cash cycle the more efficient each participant can be. Retailers can benefit from automated deposit preparation, deposit status updates and reduced bank deposit inquiries. Commercial Banks benefit from pre-notification of incoming deposits, deposit movement status updates and simpler integration to other legacy host systems. CIT’s benefit from automated notification for pick-ups, avoidance of routing inefficiencies and better communication with both down-stream and up-stream customers. As I postulated in a recent article about the currency supply chain of the future, Central Banks benefit from the ability to collect circulation, fitness and counterfeit activity with almost instant “real-time” feedback.
Perhaps a review of a typical cash cycle scenario will help orient the reader as to what can be expected when next generation cash management system in the cloud:
- A retailer uses Cirreon to balance the cashiers and produce a bank deposit. A barcoded tracking ticket is produced that is attached to the deposit. Cirreon informs their armored carrier that a deposit needs to be picked up and the bank that a deposit will be arriving soon.
- One of the armored carrier trucks, tracked by Cirreon using GPS, arrives and scans the tracking ticket using an Android-based rugged mobile phone running the Cirreon Carrier app. The customer is informed that their deposit has been picked up and is in transit to the depot.
- Using Cirreon’s route management functionality, the armored carrier sorts and routes the customer deposit to the destination bank.
- The armored carrier delivers the deposit to the bank. Through the system, the bank is already aware of who the deposit is from and the expected details. The retailer can now see that their deposit is at the bank and is about to the verified.
- The bank uses Cirreon or their existing vault system (integrated via our API) to verify the deposit and finds a counterfeit note. The head office of the retailer has subscribed to notifications for out-of-balance deposits so they receive an e-mail automatically detailing which store sent the deposit, when it was sent, who prepared the deposit and the cash register tills that made up the deposit.
For those familiar with cloud computing solutions there is often an obvious question – “is it possible to integrate this system with other non-cloud based legacy systems?” The developers of Cirreon have anticipated this potential problem and have taken great care to develop an open API that can be used to integrate with any legacy system, at minimal expense. In addition the Cirreon system takes advantage of the most up-to-date authentication and encryption technologies to ensure a highly secure infrastructure.
Last but not least is the reporting and data mining capabilities of Cirreon. It would seem that the developers spent considerable time and effort studying the relativeley new concept of “Big Data” and the challenges that brings to the necessity of having on-demand, ad hoc and scheduled reporting. Again, using the latest in terabyte -sized database mining technologies the Cirreon system boasts that they can “process millions of transactions quickly, solving problems that are impossible to deliver using traditional SQL databases”.
It would seem that Cirreon has solved the problem of diverse solution integration, consistent availability and data accessibility in one seamless, cloud-based solution. We (at Counting On Currency) commend them as pioneers and wish them much success as they work to introduce this “support backbone” to the global cash management industry.