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24 Apr 2024

The Cash Comeback

In an era dominated by credit cards, mobile wallets, and online banking, the recent upswing in cash transactions is notable as we witness a resurgence in the use of cash, especially those in the retail sector.

While an increase in cash transactions by consumers, as highlighted in a recent BBC news article, can bring certain benefits, such as attracting customers who prefer using cash, independent business owners may also face various dangers and challenges associated with a higher volume of cash transactions. Below are measures that when put in place could help reduce these risks.


Handling large amounts of cash and keeping large amounts of cash on the premises overnight poses a significant security risk by increasing the likelihood of theft or robbery, putting both employees and customers at risk.

A vital part of being a small business owner is keeping up to date on your bookkeeping, recording and banking cash at the end of each day is good practice to ensure you have clear financial records and to minimise the risks of keeping cash on the premises overnight.   

Expression will protect you against theft of money. For money in a safe or on the premises during business hours or in transit, cover is up to £5,000 and for money in the home of your employees, or not in a safe outside business hours, cover is provided up to £500.

Expression will also pay for a loss of money or property resulting from any acts of fraud or dishonesty by any of your employees, up to £2,500.  Independent businesses tend to have very good employees who are invested in the company and have a high level of integrity. However, if you were to encounter a bad egg, this cover will help to protect you.

Alarm Systems

Install a reliable alarm system that trigger alerts in the event of unauthorised access or suspicious activities. A centrally monitored alarm system adds to a more robust and responsive security infrastructure for business owners, offering protection, deterrence, and peace of mind. Some key advantages of a centrally monitored alarm system include,

·        Rapid Response, as centrally monitored alarms are connected to a security monitoring centre that can promptly respond to triggered alarms providing immediate response helping minimise potential losses, as authorities can be dispatched quickly in case of a security breach.

·        24/7 Monitoring, providing continuous surveillance and protection for high street business owners, ensuring any security threats are addressed promptly, even during non-business hours.

·        Reduced False Alarms as often centrally monitored alarms incorporate advanced technologies to minimise this occurrence.

·        Knowing that alarms are centrally monitored adds an extra layer of deterrence for potential intruders.

·        Central monitoring systems can be integrated with other security measures, such as CCTV access control systems, and fire alarms, enhancing overall security and provides a comprehensive approach to safeguarding your business. You can remotely access and control your alarm systems, allowing for real-time monitoring and adjustments, providing flexibility and convenience to oversee your security measures from anywhere.

·        Central monitoring systems often include features for documenting and reporting security incidents, valuable for insurance claims and internal analysis of security trends.

·        The knowledge that a professional monitoring centre is overseeing the security of the retail space provides peace of mind for both you and your employees and fosters a safer working environment.

While there may be initial setup costs, centrally monitored alarm systems can be cost-effective in the long run by reducing losses from theft and minimising the impact of security incidents.

Alarm systems and maintenance agreements can often be a compulsory part of an insurance policy so it is critical to ensure you understand the requirements on your business and comply with the policy terms to be full protected.

Surveillance Systems

Install high-quality surveillance cameras both inside and outside the premises ensuring cameras cover key areas like cash registers, entry and exit points, and storage areas. Display signs indicating the presence of surveillance to deter potential criminals.

Well-Lit Premises

Maintain well-lit surroundings, both inside and outside the business premises, to enhance visibility and discourage criminal activities.

Secure Cash Storage

Invest in secure safes or cash drawers that are tamper-resistant and can only be accessed by authorised personnel and regularly empty cash registers and transfer cash to a secure storage area.

Limited Cash on Hand

Keep a minimal amount of cash in the cash register to reduce the potential loss in the event of theft. Implement a cash-drop policy, where excess cash is deposited into a secure safe at regular intervals.

Dual Control Procedures

Implement dual control measures for certain tasks, such as opening safes or counting cash, requiring the presence of two employees for authorisation or limit access to cash handling areas to authorised personnel only.

Employee Training

Train employees on security protocols and procedures for handling cash and ensure you conduct regular refresher courses, which are documented as part of your Health & Safety policy, to keep employees aware of potential risks and updated security measures. Make sure clear communication protocols are in place for employees to report any suspicious activities or security concerns and encourage a culture of openness and reporting within the workplace.

Emergency Preparedness

By developing, communicating and documenting an emergency response plan in case of incidents such as robberies or security breaches will ensure employees are trained on emergency procedures and Health & Safety procedures are followed.

Background Checks

Conduct thorough background checks on employees who handle cash regularly and monitor employee behaviour for any signs of suspicious activities. A condition of most policies when it comes to protection from employee fraud / theft, is that you obtain employee references for the two years immediately prior to employment.  

Display a ‘No Cash Overnight’ Sign

Prominently display a sign in the window indicating that no cash is kept on the premises overnight. This proactive approach serves multiple purposes: 

·        Deterrence, as a visible sign stating that no cash is left on-site acts as a deterrent to potential thieves as they are less likely to target a business when they know there's minimal financial gain.

·        Transparency to customers and employees as it assures them the business is actively managing its financial resources and taking steps to prioritise safety.

In conclusion

The resurgence of cash transactions presents both challenges and opportunities for independent business owners and by proactively addressing these shifts and implementing secure practices, such as daily cash banking and displaying signs about overnight cash policies, can contribute to a safer, more resilient business environment. Stay ahead of the curve, adapt to changing trends, and ensure your continued success in 2024 and beyond.

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