To keep cash universally accessible as the most secure and sustainable means of payment, Koenig & Bauer Banknote Solutions extends its portfolio of products on new and innovative solutions to better support the use of cash.

Our aim is to make the use of cash more frictionless in the long term. To that end, we are closely working with established companies, start-ups and universities to assess the different technologies available today, take in consideration the changes in the use of banknotes and the cash cycle in the future in order to develop new and innovative solutions.

Primarily, to support the cash user…the public who use and according to survey and research material, will continue to use the products we develop and produce every day. Secondly, to support cash cycle stakeholders in their efforts to improve cash efficiency and by driving down the cost and ecological impact of cash in circulation. 

The cost (and ecological impact) of cash in circulation is having a severe impact on access to and acceptance of cash in many parts of the world. If this trend continues, the public will be afforded less choice in terms of what payment tools are available to them. We believe that there is space for a healthy co-existence of all payment tools in society but one should not be promoted at the expense of another. It all comes down to ‘choice’ and the public (and businesses) continue to exhibit a strong preference for cash today and will continue to do so in the future.

To break down silos and catalyse cross cash community exchange and collaboration on the subject of cash evolution. This is an absolutely necessary first step since many sectors of the cash industry are operating in vertical silos and the fragmented nature of our community must be addressed to enable real, significant innovation and change.

Secondly, we aim to become an enabler of such innovation by providing a family of new ‘bridging technologies’ that will allow the physical banknote product connect to digital data ecosystems, opening up a multitude of opportunities to radically transform and improve the associated banknote service system. In simply terms, we will provide the toolbox for innovation but the final solutions will be developed by existing and emerging cash cycle actors as they develop new business models and processes to serve the growing needs of the banknote user.

Our role in this space is to enable and support innovation by established and new players. We will do this by providing a toolbox of bridging technologies that will enable these players to develop new ways of managing and using cash, based upon the availability of data.

For over 15 years we have been working on development projects to exploit banknote data and use this data to improve how banknotes are organized and managed in society but also to move banknotes into new market spaces and use cases, such as on-line or remittance payments. While digital data ecosystems have considerably evolved over this time frame, two big questions remained open; How to connect a banknote to a data ecosystem and why…what are the use cases, what can be achieved? We are bringing two distinct yet complimentary technology families to the cash community:

  1. Cash Utility Technology 
  2. Banknote Programmability Technology 

Both these technologies will play a fundamental role in supporting cash but in different ways. 

Our "cut" is effectively a toolbox of ‘bridging technologies’ to enable cash cycle innovation by providing real time data on where banknotes are, who needs them and what is the best way to move them from point A to point B via a shared data ecosystem. This milestone technology stack is the missing link for cash cycle transformation and has the potential to replace the highly fragmented and centralized cash cycle models of today with a retail or community-layer cash cycle which is far more efficient and sustainable.

Our Banknote Programmability Technologies are focused on leveraging the connection between the physical banknote product and digital ecosystems to take the banknote into new and exciting use cases. Today, it is possible to use a physical banknote in a digital environment for on-line payments and even remittances without compromising user anonymity.

Firstly, because it is based upon a radical model change and not incremental step changes within existing models. Much of the innovation underway is taking place within the limits of existing business models and simply making inefficient processes better. We are proposing something entirely different. Instead of improving existing processes, why not take a more holistic and end-to-end approach to cash cycle transformation. Rather than improving existing processes, we believe the time has arrived to leave many of these processes behind and develop an entirely new cash cycle models based upon access to real-time data. Data really is the missing link here.

Secondly, our approach does not seek to simply push friction from one stakeholder to another. In other words, we are not endorsing the closure of commercial-bank operated ATM’s and their replacement with privately operated ATM networks. This may improve things but not on the scale possible. Our real time data-driven approach is based upon the cash community taking a collective responsibility for and ownership of the problems existing in the cash cycle. The collective approach will ensure that evolution takes place in areas where it is needed most and established actors in these spaces will have the opportunity not only to marginally change their business model, but fundamentally reshape them, create new business partnerships, embrace or develop new technologies and effectively build a new future for cash based upon cross-community collaboration on an unprecedented scale.

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