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Taking care of stocking dollar bills in ATMs

Rubber bands can easily damage dollar bills bound for the ATM.

One of the critical tasks in managing and maintaining ATMs is stocking the machines with dollar bills. Without money, there's often no point in running these dispensers, especially if managed by independent operators and not banks. The process is more delicate than most people think. There's a lot of packaging that goes into what banks, cash transport firms and other figures in the supply chain handle. Simple packing and sorting can affect how the money holds up for both consumers and businesses that use them. Surprisingly, one commonly used item to hold banknotes together is a culprit in damaging cash over time: rubber bands.

Rubber bands an issue when stocking ATMs

There are various methods of packaging dollar bills for sorting, storage and shipment. These include plastic and paper straps, paper clips, security bags and other materials. For many businesses, the item of choice for binding together stacks of money is the rubber band. It is cheap, simple to use and versatile in function. When done using the band for the bills, a business can put it to use elsewhere.

However, a major problem arises with using rubber bands to stack and sort cash meant for ATMs: damage. This takes the form of tears or missing pieces of a bill. If more than a quarter of the banknote is missing or if more than half of one of the serial numbers is gone, it's no longer legal tender. The holding material then becomes an unintended source of increased business costs. Even with a large stack of bills that can handle a single elastic, a single $20 bill can easily suffer from tears because the item's tensile strength. Replacing worn money with fresh bills from the federal government is additional expense that banks should easily avoid with the right technology. 

Banks and independent operators should consider ways to avoid using rubber bands for binding together stacks of bills when stocking their ATMs with little damage. One suggestion by ATM Marketplace is the plastic wrap that's often found on cargo shipments. Small rolls are available for use, which makes it easier for businesses to handle. Among some of the benefits of this material is it's wide enough to write on using a marker. So, managers can make quick counts of the stacks they receive. The other benefit is that it's easy to tear open without risking damage to the bills. Consumers deserve banknotes that aren't torn or missing key pieces when they receive money at ATMs. Changing how businesses pack them can help.

01/20/2016