A note from Emilia, Head of Marketing and Communication

Welcome to the inaugural Vaultex UK newsletter. As I am sure you know, we are the UK’s largest cash processing company, processing over £100 billion a year. Over the last few years we have expanded into consulting as we have been asked to help many clients’ varied and unique cash challenges.

This year has proved a challenge like no other. The impact of the Covid19 pandemic has been vast and reached all aspects of our lives. From a cash perspective, there can be no doubt that the pandemic has changed consumer behaviours and business attitudes. We have seen an acceleration towards cashless payments, but contrary to initial reports, cash is certainly still widely being used and more important than ever for many.

As we look ahead in 2021, and beyond the pandemic, we look forward to the launch of the £50 polymer note which will feature the renowned mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing. The arrival of a new note requires extensive planning and testing at Vaultex’s cash centres. We have been supporting the UK’s move towards polymer notes since 2016.

Our cash centres are also working hard to reduce plastic waste, with the introduction of machine boxes in all our cash centres. This is a huge step forward for our environmental sustainability programme and highlights our commitment to a greener future.

Please do get in touch if you’d like any more information on any of the articles, or to speak to a member of the Consulting Team about your company’s cash needs.

Is Cash Dead? No! The importance of maintaining cash in circulation

Whilst the total amount of cash in circulation in the UK is greater now than it was 10 years ago, across the UK the percentage of transactions undertaken in cash has declined. Digital payments have become more accessible; from 2009 – 2019 the volume of cash payments decreased from 58% of all payments to 23% and the Covid19 pandemic has exacerbated this trend, pushing many business and consumers into a cashless model.

The lack of face-to-face transactions during the pandemic, as well as the internet and social media fueled fears that notes and coins could spread the virus, have sparked concerns that the UK could move nearer to a cashless society far sooner than it was ready to do so. Many businesses have taken this opportunity to go cashless. According to the Bank of England, shops, including supermarkets, have continued to encourage digital payments over cash ones, with 15% more businesses refusing to accept cash in July 2020.

Despite this, during 2019, there were 2.1 million adults in the UK who mainly used cash for their day-to-day spending, representing 3.8% of adults. Approximately 1.3 million adults do not have a bank account and rely solely on cash. For them, the cashless retail premises are effectively a bar to entry. Indeed the latest ‘Access to Cash’ review warned that over 8 million adults would struggle to cope in a cashless society.

Innovation and Sustainability at Vaultex: Reducing Single Use Plastic

Two of the key pillars of Vaultex are innovation and environmental sustainability. Tackling the adverse impact of single use plastic has become one of the most important priorities in our work.

Our innovation team has developed a unique machine box technology in note processing, which replaces plastic wrappers and straps used to pack notes in cash centres. This will save approximately 4 million plastic bags and 9 million metres of plastic straps which equated to a 50% reduction in waste in 2020.

The new boxes also improve efficiency with fewer instances of plastic wrappers being caught in machinery. Alongside the important environmental impact that plastic reduction has, these new boxes have enabled the business to make material savings and are now in place in all our cash centres.

Cheryl Mosley, Head of Production Planning at Vaultex said: “We are constantly innovating and working on finding ways that both improve efficiency across the cash processing cycle and modernise our working processes.”

Single use plastic is one of the most detrimental issues that face the environment and Vaultex is committed to improving its plastic use and reducing waste. The new machine boxes are a vital step towards this goal, and the financial saving will be an added benefit to all our clients.

UK Cash: New £50 note for 2021

2021 brings the launch of the new polymer £50 note from The Bank of England. The new note, which will have a host of new security features, will spotlight the scientist Alan Turing, celebrating his pioneering with computers and code-breaking achievements in WWII.

Alan Turing was most famous for his work on Enigma–enciphered messages at Bletchley Park and his signature from the visitor book in 1947 will also appear on the note. His ground breaking work is thought to have saved 14 million lives by shortening the war by about two years.

Like all new notes, some key security features must be included in the design. These include updating the watermark on the note, ultraviolet features that reveal extra colours and extra designs and a metallic thread that changes shape when you hold the note to light.

The arrival of a new note requires extensive planning and testing at Vaultex’s cash centres. All software and hardware need to be updated to accommodate the new note and machines also need to be able to capture old £50 notes at the same time as new polymer versions.

We have supported the change from paper to polymer since 2016, providing our clients with technology and expertise to handle new notes. We invested in high-speed note sorters to ensure that notes were counted and separated in the most efficient way. This newest note is an exciting addition to the suite of modern currency that keeps the UK at the forefront of polymer technology.

Keeping Cash Efficient: Vaultex Consulting Services

Over the last five years, in response to the needs of our clients, Vaultex has expanded from being the leader in UK cash processing to offering consulting services – helping businesses handle and manage their notes and coins more effectively.

This year we have seen more businesses looking to find and implement efficiencies in their cash management activities and have been looking for experts to help them do so. Vaultex has developed a number of services in order to support this.

CIT Optimisation

Vaultex’s Cash in Transit (CIT) Optimisation service aims to reduce the time and costs businesses spend on moving cash. By looking at the company’s data we create bespoke optimised CIT schedules that balance the costs of holding cash versus transportation. Typically we have helped customers reduce their CIT costs by 15-20%.

We are highly confident in our ability to identify material savings for you. Therefore we offer a complimentary, no obligation assessment that will pinpoint opportunities and benefits. If we can’t identify achievable changes, then there is no charge.

Cash Management Optimisation

We have also developed a proven Cash Management Optimisation service to help businesses identify efficiencies within their end-to-end cash cycle. From handling cash at the point of sale and back-office, through to receiving credit and reconciliation, we will look for improvement opportunities that focus on viable efficiency savings and enhanced controls.

Our assessment considers the three key areas of cash management: People, Process and Technology, and can include an assessment into the feasibility for deploying cash automation devices.

CIT | Cash Management Device Procurement

The third service we are excited to offer is Cash Optimisation Device Procurement. We know that getting the right suppliers for cash management hardware and software is imperative for businesses.

We will tailor our procurement service according to the business’ specific needs, ensuring that key business objectives and requirements are fully understood from the start and ensure that clients get the right solution, with the right capabilities at the best possible price.

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