As a cash automation provider who carries both RSM based recyclers and cassette based recyclers, we often get asked which is better? It's a very valid question and the simple answer is, "it depends". Each technology has its pros and cons, so it's important to understand what is best for your particular environment. As a side note, most of the Cash Recyclers manufactured in Europe are RSM based technologies. The Cash Recyclers made in Asia tend to be cassette based. I think one driving factor of this is how many different types of notes are in those perspective areas. Most of the Recyclers out of Asia tended to have four-note denominations that mattered, where as in Euro and USD, the denominations required are more like five or six for recycling applications.
Rolled Storage Module vs Cassette Storage: Capacity
This is an interesting paradigm in terms of which technology type allows for greater capacity. Typically a cassette is going to allow for greater capacity per module, in some instances holding up to 2500-3000 notes per cassette. The RSM type of module holds typically 400-700 notes per module. So slam dunk right? If you need high capacity, go with cassette based? Not necessarily! Most of the RSM based recyclers can have up to 12 or even 16 RSMs to store currency, allowing you to store very close to cassette capacity over multiple modules instead of it being contained all in one module. Since RSMs take up less space than cassettes, more of them can be used, allowing those type of cash recyclers to be very close to their cassette-based competitors. At the end of the day, cassettes still offer the highest capacity, so we'll give them the slight nod in this category.
Rolled Storage Module vs Cassette Storage: Flexibility
This is where the strength of the RSM technology can shine. With cash recyclers considered "mission critical" devices, it often makes sense to have multiple RSMs for higher volume denominations in case one RSM has a problem. All cassette-based recyclers assign one cassette per denomination, so if that cassette goes down or has a problem, you are down until the problem is fixed. In a truly unique situation for us here at QDS, our 16-RSM CIMA 7016, can actually run on eight if there is an issue in the other stack of eight, reducing down time. Also, by having more RSMs, you can truly customize capacity needed by branch or even location in the branch. Perhaps the drive-thru uses more $20s and the lobby uses more $1s. This allows to you customize how much storage you need, and not have more storage than necessary for denominations that don't require that much capacity. We'll give the points to the RSM for this category.
Rolled Storage Module vs Cassette Storage: Fitness
One of the known drawbacks to the RSM-based technology is that due to the wrapping of the money around a roller (hence RSM), the money can have a slight to moderate curl depending on how long the notes are stagnant in the machine. Cassette-based recyclers work just like ATMs, so they keep the money flat. Some clients feel this is more important than others, but it is a point worth considering. If you are willing to pay more (cassette based units are typically higher in price) than cassette units will have no curl and RSM will have some curl based on volume. Typically, the busier the office, the less curl to an RSM note, because the amount of time stored is lower. Point goes to cassette based in this category.
Rolled Storage Module vs Cassette Storage: Auditing
Most cash recyclers begin being audited anywhere from daily to weekly. As confidence grows over time, most of the clients we speak with do so on a monthly or quarterly basis, so keep that in mind as we go through this topic. Audit is an important function for any Financial Institution and maintaining control is very important. One of the primary benefits of cash recyclers is the audit trail. RSM technology forces the cash coming both in and out to be run through the recycler and bill sensor for verification. This ensures that each note has been counted correctly and is accounted for by the machine. Companies that focus on cassettes talk about the speed at which a cassette based recycler can be loaded or unloaded for audit. While true that it can be faster than having the notes come out 100 at a time, breaking the cassettes open to gain access to the cash causes you to lose part of the control associated with the machine and outages can occur. One cassette based TCR has addressed this functionality with an internal self-audit. The Nautilus Hyosung MoniSafe500 can perform a self-audit, where a cassette is audited one at a time and run back through the bill sensor, checking to see if the expected value does indeed match the counted value. While this process can take some time to work through all denominations, the audit can be performed without cash ever leaving the safe. Pretty cool! So for this category, I would say that from a speed perspective, cassettes can lead to quicker audits, but from a security perspective, RSM-based units are truly keeping the note amounts verified without exposing cash for a manual count. We'll have to call this a draw.
There are many factors to make a cash recycler a success for your location. Both RSM and Cassette-based cash recyclers have their merits, so it's important to have a solid understanding of which pros and cons mean the most to you and your institution. If you need help better understanding which would make sense for your location(s), please feel free to reach out to us so we can help you better understand your needs.