Even in an increasingly cashless world, coin machines are popular…and that popularity is growing. In 2020, the U.S. experienced a serious coin shortage, and banks were scrambling to collect coinage for their customers. Coin machines were one way for banks to meet acute demand during the crisis, and the global market for coin counting machines is expected to continue its growth. With a 4.3% CAGR through 2026, North American consumers are leading the demand, and will expect the availability and convenience of a coin kiosk at their local branch.
Coin management and coin counting machines are a great way to draw customers into your lobby. They’re not just convenient for customers, they are good for business. While coin solutions may look similar on the surface, there are critical differences, and those details matter to both your customers and your staff.
Here are the top five things you should know before making your solution decision for a coin machine.
#1: Counting Accuracy Methodology and Technology Varies
From an external perspective, coin kiosks may all look the same, But how they function can be quite different, especially when it comes to accuracy.
Most coin kiosks sort coins by size. While that guarantees a higher speed count, inaccuracies are likely to occur. With light wear and tear, mismatched coins can end up in the wrong slot and the machine can jam, causing delays, inaccurate counts, and frustrated customers.
Modern sensors can actually detect, analyze, and measure the coins’ metallurgical properties. This greatly improves the accuracy of the count itself and ensures minimal jams and service calls.
#2: Safety and Increased Bin Capacity Are NOT Mutually Exclusive
Bags of coins are heavy…and inefficient. An individual bag can weigh up to 50 pounds, presenting a physical burden that could cause injury or discomfort to your staff. It’s also inconvenient as your branch employee must interrupt their workflow (or customer engagement) to retrieve a full bag of coins and secure it in the vault.
Large capacity bins, rather than bags, increase the overall capacity of a machine. Logistics providers can facilitate switching out the bins, rather than asking internal staff to lug a heavy bag. This streamlined approach also means the machine will be available with fewer interruptions for your customers.
#3: Examine the Quality of the Maintenance Program
In order for a machine to retain its accuracy, it needs to be maintained properly. Dirt and debris, which are introduced by the coins themselves, can require costly repairs to mechanical parts if they’re not cleaned regularly. A managed service program is necessary to keep the parts debris-free, ensuring greater reliability for your customers. You also want to ensure that your provider performs just in time coin pick ups – enabling maximum availability, while at the same time, eliminating any unnecessary interaction from your staff.
Another critical feature is real time connectivity and transaction processing which allows full monitoring and troubleshooting of issues as they happen. In addition to catching any issues before they become bigger problems, real time monitoring enables headache-free firmware and security updates remotely, without having to schedule a service call.
#4: Convenience and Speed for Your Staff
Yes, consumer needs are always changing, and customer demand for banking online and through mobile applications is growing. But most customers still crave an in-person experience and in-branch services. According to a recent survey from goMoxie, 62% of customers prefer to use a bank that has a physical presence. Financial institutions still have an evolving role to play, and while those customers still want some hand-holding and financial advice, they also want to get their in-person errands done as quickly as possible.
Coin machines also allow for easy social distancing, limiting interaction and reducing customer in-person branch time when safety demands are at their peak.
Like any other process in your branch, you want your coin machines to be both accurate and easy to use. In order for your coin service to offer the best in-person experience for your customers, it should offer these benefits:
- Easy-to-Use. Ensure an elegant experience with a user-friendly interface and customized options tailored to your branch strategy.
- Frees up staff time. The program and the kiosk should create less, not more work for your branch staff.
- Cost-effective. Look for a program that doesn’t require any capital investment.
- Flexibility. Offer cash or deposit services.
- Multiple redemption offers. Customers may want to purchase gift cards, make donations, or deposit directly into their accounts.
- Verifiable track record. Work with a vendor with a trusted history and reliable equipment to cut down on service and repair times.
#5: Device Support and Training
Your coin partner should be able to provide ongoing training for your team, both onsite and remote. For your own reconciliation and reporting, make sure (like Coinstar) your partner is able to provide you with reporting and automation that supports your branch logistics. Make sure you have real time visibility and accountability from your partner in the event of any variances. Other options that management should consider are:
- Branding. Can the kiosk include your logo and institution information?
- Field Support. Do you have access to a team of on-call technicians for the life of the machine with no additional cost?
- Expert Account Management. When issues do arise, can you call an account manager who prioritizes your needs?
- Customizable Features. Is your partner considering the specific needs of your financial institution?
- Capacity. Does the organization have adequate redundancy and resources to address your concerns and maintenance needs as soon as they arise?