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21 January 2019

Q&A with Mauro Bonaglia, ADAM

An entrepreneur and information technology engineer, Mauro Bonaglia started developing cash management software in 2002. In 2006 he founded the Italian company ADAM where he currently works as president and sales director.

The Future of Cash spoke with Mauro Bonaglia about the drivers in cash usage, the assurance that cash is the preferred form of payment, the importance of the cost of cash and role that ADAM is playing to keep cash vibrant.

Catch Mauro's presentation on the 'Benefits of Cooperative Approach in Cash Cycle Process and a Case Study on Retailers' Cash Deposit Machines in Italy' at the Future of Cash.

What do you regard as the most influential drivers for change in cash usage? 

We see a change in automation. Cash is more and more processed by machines rather than people in all its life cycle: the recent growth of cash deposit machines at points of sales, sometimes used by the customers themselves, confirms this trend. Machines can play an active role in confidence in cash, lowering the risk to get change in counterfeit notes.  Automation of both physical handling and digital processes (reconciliation, accounting, billing) can also lower the costs for the retailers who will be more likely to accept cash, keeping the cash option available.

 

What needs to be done to ensure cash is preferred for payment by the public, retailers and commercial banks?

I think for the public confidence is the key: people must be sure that the cash in their pocket can pay goods or services. Cash can be the preferred method of payment if it is trusted, available and accepted, so cash industry should improve the quality of cash to prevent counterfeiting and guarantee ATM presence to ensure availability. To enforce cash acceptance in retailers’ stores it’s important to ease their work and lower their costs, for example providing cash deposit machines.
Retailers, on the other hand, will keep on accepting and pushing cash until its cost and its process complexity are balanced by the share of the public who is happy to pay with cash, so the aforementioned actions apply to their side, too.

 

How important is the cost of cash, making cash withdrawals and cash deposits convenient or making cash easy to use compared to the alternatives in securing the future of cash?  Or is there another more important factor?

Compared to most of its alternatives cash has physical costs (processing, transportation), which cannot be canceled, so the competition is tough, the cost is, of course, important but if it wasn't for other reasons, cash would be doomed. For all kinds of payments, cash costs are in most cases charged on banks and/or retailers, but the decision about how to pay is made by consumers, who are not aware to pay for these fees together with the goods they purchase. The cost of cash has therefore no direct impact on customers' choices, but it can limit it as soon as retailers stop accepting it when other means have considerably lower fees. For those reasons, the key factor is acceptance, and as I mentioned above it is well related to cost.

 

What role is your organisation playing in keeping cash a vibrant, preferred payment tool?

We work "behind the scenes" for the automation of the process of cash handling: we can proudly say that our customers saved a lot of money thanks to the control and the optimization provided by our solutions. We are confident that these savings contribute to keeping the cost of cash to an acceptable level for the retailers, who will guarantee a high level of acceptance.

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