The 2014 National Retail Federation/University of Florida National Retail Security Survey reported that retailers lost an average of 1.38% of retail sales, amounting to nearly $44 billion, due to shrinkage and theft. The survey further said, “losses from employee theft cost retailers $16 billion a year.” These drains on the bottom line can take a big chunk out of profits.
By their very nature, retail operations present numerous opportunities for employees to steal. Investigators can be faced with a myriad of factors that must be scrutinized and evaluated when looking at cases of suspected theft, including employees with sticky fingers who are trusted to deliver cash deposits to banks. Removing a few tens or twenties can be easy and go unnoticed. But there are others in the loop (armored-car drivers, bank employees, etc.) who also handle large sums of cash. The FBI uncovered $600,000 from a backyard in a California neighborhood. It seems two armored-truck drivers helped themselves to money being transferred from a bank vault. In another case a bank employee helped herself to cash that a local business had dropped off in a night deposit box.
Protecting Cash Made Simple
Some fixes to deter employee or customer theft can be quite extensive and technologically advanced, requiring extensive training, expensive equipment, and tons of resources.
Other ways to combat missing cash are easy to implement, such as having the relevant and necessary supplies for managing cash transactions. One simple deterrent to cash theft is engaging in the proper handling and transferring of cash.
5 Guidelines to Help Protect Collected, Transferred, & Deposited Cash:
- Follow best practices for hiring and training employees. Develop an anti-theft plan to include situation assessment and delineation of consequences. Be sure all employees handling money at any stage in the customer-to-bank deposit transaction period understand their responsibilities to the company. Trained security personnel must be constantly on the alert for possible theft and company investigators should be schooled in proper interviewing and reporting techniques for theft cases.
- Using a 2-person check, or dual sign-off, for cash transfers will deter individuals from considering stealing some of the money in their care. Also referred to as “separation of function”, this includes requiring one person to count the cash while another person verifies the amount and completes the deposit slip, or having one person seal or lock the money bag while another person verifies the seal or retains possession of the key.
- Install video cameras in the areas where cash is stored or transferred. Cameras can provide hard evidence in a theft case but more importantly, they are a deterrent to preventing thefts from occurring.
- Check your accounts in a timely manner. Make sure all deposits show up in your bank statement. Monitor all bookkeeping records. Engage in periodic, unannounced, unscheduled auditing of bank accounts.
- Utilize proper cash deposit bags. Currency bags should safely store money and protect it from theft as it changes hands. There are locking bags or tamper-evident currency bags, all with mid-level and maximum level security options. This added security level makes thieves think twice before reaching into a sealed money bag.
Proven Cash Protection Solutions
At CONTROLTEK, we understand that theft is not always perpetrated by store employees. There are many cases where the theft occurs after the cash has left the hands of the employee. We help ensure your cash is protected from armored car drivers and bank employees as well!
The CONTROLTEK SafeLok bag incorporates our “press2Lok” seal technology, utilizing a high security void tape with an in-line closure. This void tape is specially formulated to display void evidence when subjected to heat, cold, or chemicals.
Typically used for deposits, this bag comes in a large array of sizes and styles including internal and external pockets for checks and deposit slips. High performance films and side seams meet all Federal Reserve guidelines. The high-definition void graphics on this “easy to seal” bag make it a deterrent against theft as well as a favorite for high volume cash users.
To help prevent cash loss, contact CONTROLTEK today.
Since 1976, we have been delivering unique products and solutions to the cash-transfer and asset protection industries to address specific business challenges. Our company has grown steadily based on the quality of our products and the quality of our service. Our commitment to research and development is combined with a willingness to listen to the people who everyday depend on our products. By relentlessly researching and introducing new materials and new features, we are proud to say we have impacted the way assets are secured globally.
With experience gained through research and collaboration within the financial and retail sectors, we actively charted a course over the past several years to bring added value, new thinking and viable approaches, addressing the dilemmas and challenges that frustrate business professionals today.
During this process, we realigned our resources within CONTROLTEK, creating three silos (ISS, ISP and IVS). This enables us to focus more specifically on the needs of our Clients and their specific challenges they face on a daily basis. Additionally, CONTROLTEK has aligned itself with Global partners to provide holistic solutions that solve today’s challenges. Whatever the application, CONTROLTEK resources stand by ready to deliver results that enable commerce and effectively secure assets at financial institutions and leading retailers across the globe.