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Cash counters can complement digital payment methods

Cash counters will provide a complement to mobile wallets.

Retailers that receive significant amounts of sales on a daily basis can benefit from using a cash counter. It's a tool that can quickly and efficiently tally money. For a large store, a machine that counts more than a thousand bills per minute is a great way to rapidly assess how much it made in a given day or week. That can help improve administrative processes over time, enabling a back office that will focus on more important matters, such as customer service. They serve as a complement to mobile payments, especially for those who may feel uncomfortable carrying over large amounts of bills to buy a large-ticket item.

While mobile payments rise, money counters will still have a role

One of the more interesting aspects of payments in recent years is the rise of the mobile wallet. Using a technology called near-field communication, which is typically found in smartphones, apps are now available that store credit card information on the phone. When it comes time to pay, all a customer does is tap his or her phone next to the receiver, which sends the information and completes the payment. There's no need to take out a card, let alone swipe it.

While this new concept spreads, one of the key issues at the moment is the lack of a universal standard, causing some competition. Consider that while many retailers adopted Apple's Apple Pay and Google's Android Pay apps, some big names did not. This includes Walmart and Best Buy. They signed up for competitor MCX's platform CurrentC, which is now in active pilot stage, according to CNBC. With the lack of a single format to go by, many businesses will have to pick and choose to serve their interests.

Now, Walmart looks to mobile wallets as a payment option in its own way. Re/code reported the company announced its own smartphone-based payment platform, called Walmart Pay. The app in question works at the point of sale by using smartphone cameras to read a QR code on display. When it scans the code, the app processes the payment through whatever credit or debit cards the consumer stored on his or her phone. The system is an attempt to make the shopping experience at the largest retailer in the country more seamless for everyone.

Walmart believes that the system should be open to all processors. In the future, updates to the Walmart Pay app will allow for integration with competing standards such as Apple Pay and CurrentC. This may be the key to evening out the payments situation. No matter the circumstance, not everyone will want to pay with their mobile phones, while many will simply lack the ability to do so because they don't have a smartphone or any cards. Cash will remain important in the coming years, so it's imperative for businesses to utilize money counters. They can sort cash quickly on small and medium purchases that people may feel more inclined to use bills instead of plastic. It will help maintain efficient operations.

February 8, 2016