Shoppers at a number of malls across the country can rest assured that they are safe when visiting their favourite shopping venues. Centres that have invested in a Shopping Mall Cash Recycling (SMCR) system to ensure that shoppers and retailers are not at risk during the movement of cash and other valuables around the centre, offer added value and peace of mind to their customers.
The SMCR solution, developed by cash services and solutions company SBV Services, reduces stockholding of cash and valuables on site and ensures that money is moved in an undetectable way. The system follows a new trend towards holding less cash on premises and deploying fewer guards and guns around shopping centres.
Most shop owners are at highest risk during the movement of cash and valuables into and out of their premises. The SMCR process, which is made up of a system of air tubes to a secure vault, makes it almost impossible for criminals to work out how and when cash is being moved, and enables businesses and banks to minimise stockholding on site in order to reduce losses if a robbery were to happen. At the same time, they have the ability to easily access cash if they require more.
As SBV extends the SMCR system to more centres, South Africans could see less armed security inside malls. This might seem implausible at a time when attacks on shopping malls are becoming more prevalent and the sight of an armed guard is commonplace.
“Currently, most shopping centres in South Africa have a lot of armed guards on their floors. In more developed countries, the situation is quite different. There are fewer armed guards inside the centres, yet robberies aren't as frequent as they are in South Africa1. With SMCR, we could eventually see a welcome shift in line with international trends,” says SBV Services executive, Shaun Nicholls.
There are currently six malls and business districts that have implemented this system including the Greenstone Mall, Cradlestone Mall, Eastgate Shopping Centre, Secunda Mall, Mahwelereng (Limpopo) and The Pavilion with more on the cards to be installed within the next 18 months.
“Once the SMCR system becomes standard, and criminals realise that the secure manner in which cash and valuables are moved at centres is making attacks more difficult, robberies will decrease. With SMCR, we are making cash and valuables inaccessible to criminals,” he adds.
The reward for consumers and retailers will be the freedom to shop and do business securely and without fear.
Nicholls says that the SMCR system combines innovation with sensibility. “Criminals are constantly evolving their modus operandi of attack. To mitigate security threats, security companies also have to constantly evolve their systems and measures to ensure that people and property are adequately protected.
“We invest heavily in new product and systems development to remain in sync with new trends. We pride ourselves on our constant innovation and the robust agility of our systems. Our systems and solutions combine innovation with sensibility and they make sense while offering peace of mind throughout the entire value chain,” he says.
According to the South African Council of Shopping Centres, South Africa is expected to have a total of 1801 large, regional and super-regional malls by 2016. Added to which, demand for cash in South Africa has been growing at nearly 11% year-on-year since 20032. While these two growth factors are economically positive, they do also carry increased risk vulnerability for businesses. But this risk could be mitigated before a mall’s foundation is even laid with the planned implementation of systems such as SMCR.
Innovation, such as SMCR, which is emerging from the South African cash sector is likely to set a new precedent for the future of the local shopping mall landscape as centre owners and investors seek to add value by ensuring tenants are signing themselves into secure business environments.
1 South African Council of Shopping Centres 2003 Report.
2 AGIS Consulting, Future of Cash in Africa 2014 Report.
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