Payments Talks with The Fed’s Barbara Bennett: The Future of Cash Management22nd August 2018
Ahead of CMSPI’s September Merchant Cash Management Forum in Denver, we conducted a short interview with one of our keynote speakers, Barbara Bennett, Vice President, National Cash Product Office at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Barbara is responsible for policy and strategy formulation for the Federal Reserve Banks’ FedCash® Services function. She monitors emerging trends in payments practices, cash usage and currency quality, and works to promote a collaborative approach to cash supply chain issues. She has also been involved in Fed efforts to foster the development of a “faster payments” system in the U.S. Ms. Bennett holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of California, Riverside, and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Read more about the Merchant Cash Management Forum here: www.cashmanagementforum.com
What role does the Federal Reserve play in aiding merchants with cash handling?
“The Federal Reserve’s mission in cash services is to ensure the availability, integrity and fitness of currency in circulation. We work with our customers, the financial institutions, and with armored car companies to fulfil this mission. Although we do not provide services directly to merchants, we have a keen interest in understanding their evolving needs, as this gives us insight into how we can best support the efficiency and resilience of the broader cash supply chain.”
For those who are unfamiliar, can you explain what Cash Visibility means and what it means for the industry?
“Cash Visibility is a GS1US-facilitated collaborative initiative across a wide array of cash handling stakeholders, including the Federal Reserve, major financial institutions, armored car companies, merchants and solution providers aimed at applying the same supply chain logistics identifiers and messaging standards used in retail and other industries to improve the efficiency, resilience and traceability of cash handling and shipments.”
What are the emerging trends in the cash industry that merchants need to focus on?
“Consumer cash usage remains strong, particularly for low-value payments, and this is generally true across all income and age demographics. In conversations with major financial institutions, armored car companies and merchants, we see growing interest in automating retail cash handling through the deployment of smart safes and cash recyclers, as well as cash inventory management software and services.”
How do you communicate the results of your cash industry to merchants survey each year?
“We publish the results of the annual Diary of Consumer Payment Choice on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco website (2016 Diary Results). We also seek opportunities to engage with merchants on payment and cash usage trends.”