“March 2017
leading up to Easter, was the worst month for armed robberies in 2017. Given
the unprecedented increase in cash related robbery over the past 12 months we
expect  that the month of March will most
likely see more cash and more cash crime,” says Richard Phillips, joint CEO of
Cash Connect.

As consumers get
ready to enjoy the Easter holidays, so do criminals.  Despite the availability of electronic
transacting options, consumers still choose cash as their preferred means of
payment with close on 84% of all transactions still conducted with cash. 

Highly organised
and audacious criminals are aware of this. They also know that around 72% of
retailers deal with their cash takings in a traditionally manual way. These
retailers present easy and lucrative targets to criminals who have sophisticated
resources at their disposal and are often fully informed of what goes on inside
their targets.

Phillips stresses
that the law enforcement, crime intelligence and criminal justice community has
failed to respond adequately to this “economic warfare”. The inability to
contain these organised gangs threatens the very core of our cash economy and
all who depend on it.

As a result, the
cash economy is increasingly under attack.  Conservatively speaking, the cash-in-transit industry
suffered at least 256 armed robbery attacks in 2016, and 367 in 2017.

Similarly, there was a total
increase of 10.3% from 2016 to 2017 in shopping centre incidents and while
there was a marginal decrease in day time armed robberies against high street
retailers, late night armed robberies rose by over 30%.

As the leader in
automated cash management solutions, Cash Connect’s robust cash vault technology
has proven to be the most effective deterrent in the retail market. 

The reality however
is that many retail businesses still trade with large volumes of cash on site
and to add to their vulnerability they lack any form of robust cash device to
protect their cash.

Although Phillips
believes that an automated cash management and payments platform is an
essential element of any modern successful retail business, he says that business
owners who do have manual cash handling processes are not without options. Security
professionals identify several steps retail owners can take to safeguard their
businesses this Easter season.

Smart and safe cash handling

·        
Make use of electronic transfers to avoid paying
wages in cash to your staff.

·        
Avoid broadcasting when cash will manually be taken
to the bank for deposit.

·        
Alternate the days and times on which you deposit
cash.

·        
Do not openly display the money you are depositing
while you are standing at an ATM or in a bank queue.

·        
Avoid carrying money bags or briefcases when
approaching an ATM or when standing in a bank queue.

·        
Alternate between bank branches or ATMs so your
banking pattern is not easily recognisable.

·        
When your cash is being collected, consider closing
shop for a few minutes before and during cash-in-transit collections.
Alternatively, isolate and close the cash office area during the collection
time.

·        
Assist the cash-in-transit collection team by being
prepared. This keeps the collection service time window short, sharp and safe.

·        
Take the time to investigate converting to an
automated cash management service and take away all the risk inherent in the
above and realise meaningful savings and efficiencies.

Research
has shown that a staggering 90% of attacks on businesses are carried out with information
gleaned from employees or contractors. “Stores using our cash vaults were
attacked far less than any other despite an over 30% increase in attacks
against the industry in the past year,” says Phillips. “The fact that more than
87% of these attacks against our customers were unsuccessful, clearly
demonstrates the success of our strategy of deter, deflect, and defend.”


ABOUT CASH CONNECT

Cash Connect enables a safe and secure trading
environment and empowers retailers with services that create greater
efficiency, improve cash flow and offer quick access to capital with which to
grow. 

Established in 2006, our goal is
to move businesses from a place of safety to a place of growth. 

Cash Connect is one of the
largest suppliers of cash to the banking system and boasts in excess of R60
Billion a year that it manages on behalf of its diversified client base across
the country. It is an approved service provider to blue-chip companies
including Spar Group, Shell, Engen, Pick ‘n Pay and OK.

The executive management team –
led by joint CEOs Steven Heilbron and Richard Phillips – has an unrivalled pool
of specialised cash logistics, security and banking experience. The board of
directors is chaired by Ivan Epstein, former CEO of Softline and Sage
International. 

Cash Connect is a private
company, with Old Mutual’s specialist fund, Futuregrowth Asset Management, as
its largest institutional shareholder.

At Cash Connect, we provide more
than just robust cash vaults, we are the key to a successful retail store and
strives to make a unique contribution to South Africa’s growing entrepreneurial
SMME community – Beyond Safe.