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Strong Growth in Cash-Handling Technology as Branch Staff Shift Focus to Value-Added Services


Strong Growth in Cash-Handling Technology as Branch Staff Shift Focus to Value-Added Services

The global market for advanced cash-handling devices continues to expand amidst shifting priorities at banks’ branches

Banks move towards ‘universal banker model’ as part of their branch optimisation strategies

The Global Branch Transformation study by RBR Data Services, a division of Datos Insights, found that banks worldwide continue to revise their branch formats, seeking to maximise the efficiency and profitability of a reduced number of outlets. They are also moving towards a universal banker model, with tellers taking on sales and advisory responsibilities alongside facilitating basic transactions.

Teller Cash Recyclers, or TCRs, have been vital in implementing this new model. TCRs are devices used by branch staff to handle and securely store cash, typically at the teller counter. They are highly valued as a means of automating cash transactions, freeing up time for tellers to dedicate to cross‑selling. Their recycling capability also reduces cash-in-transit costs, as they are effectively replenished by customer deposits.

The RBR Data Services study found that the number of TCRs installed worldwide continues to rise. At the end of 2023, there were over 140,000 devices installed across the key markets surveyed – up 7% compared to 2018. 40% of these are located in the USA, where major banks seeking to improve branch operations continue to deploy them in large numbers. The USA has contributed the majority of the growth in TCR installations, with over 18,000 new units since 2018.

Branch closures hit TCR installations, but substantial growth potential remains

Unlike other, less advanced cash-handling devices, TCRs are now present in all 20 of the countries covered in the study. Fast-growing markets like the USA and Canada have been sufficient to offset partial removals in countries such as Italy and Spain, where these devices have been withdrawn from shuttered bank branches.

Despite the ongoing closure of branches, potential for expansion in the TCR market remains. This is particularly true in markets where devices have only been recently installed, and where cash transactions are still prevalent. In Indonesia, for example, the first TCRs arrived as late as 2014, and installations have more than doubled in the last five years.

Banks focus on optimising branch processes as customer demand for cash continues

The number of TCRs globally is forecast to approach 150,000 by the end of 2028. In the USA alone, financial institutions are projected to install over 10,000 new units during this period, with many major banks still deploying fewer than one device per branch on average. Gillian Shaw, who led the Global Branch Transformation research, remarked: “Despite the ongoing digitalisation of services, branches remain an important distribution channel. As banks seek to optimise their branch operations and meet the ongoing customer demand for cash transactions, the number of TCRs in key markets will continue to grow.”