With safety and security top of mind,, Circle K Ireland in using closed payment systems at 74 locations on its network of 410 service stations to eliminate the need for staff to handle cash from customers.
Now, customers paying in cash at select locations are required to insert their bills and coins into the machine, which counts it and automatically returns change.
In a statement, the company said the approach reduces till work for cashiers. "The purpose of the new cash machines is to enhance security at stores, reduce theft, while also cutting down on back-office administration and cash handling. They also help in eliminating cash shrinkage, discrepancies, and reconciliations from the daily cash process."
When Alimentation Couche-Tard acquired Topaz Ireland in FY2016, robberies were a major issue and hit an all-time high of 35 robberies per year. This has fallen to eight robberies in FY2021, something the company credits to implementing closed payment systems, based on a store risk assessment.
"Closed cash handling establishes a single, secure, controlled routine for the whole store and automates counting and checking, requiring minimal administration, and ultimately makes it easier for our people and customers by offering a safe and contactless experience," said Paul Dixon, Circle K Ireland’s regional director of operations.
The deployment of closed payment systems is part of the company's robbery prevention programs, which are currently operated in over 450 company-owned sites in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Based on the learnings from Europe, risk assessments are being conducted on high-risk sites in Canada and the U.S., and closed payment solution will be piloted in both markets.