In 2020, the U.S. experienced a serious coin shortage, and banks were scrambling to collect coinage for their customers. Coin machines were one way for retail environments to meet acute demand during the crisis, and the global market for coin counting machines is expected to continue its growth. With a 4.3% CAGR through 2026, North American consumers are leading the demand, and will expect the availability and convenience of a coin kiosk.

Coin management and coin counting machines are a great way to draw customers into your store. They’re not just convenient for customers, they are also good for business. While coin solutions may look similar on the surface, there are critical differences, and those details matter to both your customers and your staff.

Here are the top five things you should know before choosing your coin counting solution.

#1: Counting Accuracy Methodology and Technology Varies 

From an external perspective, coin kiosks may all look the same, but how they function can be quite different, especially when it comes to accuracy. 

Most coin kiosks sort coins by size. While that guarantees a higher speed count, inaccuracies are likely to occur. With light wear and tear, mismatched coins can end up in the wrong slot and the machine can jam, causing delays, inaccurate counts, and frustrated customers.

Modern sensors can detect, analyze, and measure the coins’ metallurgical properties. This greatly improves the accuracy of the count itself and ensures minimal jams and service calls. 

#2: Safety and Increased Bin Capacity Are NOT Mutually Exclusive

Bags of coins are heavy and inefficient. An individual bag can weigh up to 50 pounds, presenting a physical burden that could cause injury or discomfort to your staff. It’s also inconvenient as your employees must interrupt their workflow (or customer engagement) to retrieve a full bag of coins and secure it in the vault. 

Large capacity bins, rather than bags, increase the overall capacity of a machine. Logistics providers can facilitate switching out the bins, rather than asking internal staff to lug a heavy bag. This streamlined approach also means the machine will be available with fewer interruptions for your customers. 

#3: Examine the Quality of the Maintenance Program

In order for a machine to retain its accuracy, it needs to be maintained properly. Dirt and debris, which are introduced by the coins themselves, can require costly repairs to mechanical parts if they’re not cleaned regularly. A managed service program is necessary to keep the parts debris-free, ensuring greater reliability for your customers. You also want to ensure that your provider performs coin pick-ups – enabling maximum availability, while at the same time, eliminating any unnecessary interaction from your staff.

Another critical feature is real time connectivity and transaction processing which allows full monitoring and troubleshooting of issues as they happen. In addition to catching any issues before they become bigger problems, real time monitoring enables headache-free firmware and remote security updates, without having to schedule a service call. 

#4: Convenience and Speed for Your Staff

You want your coin machines to be both accurate and easy to use. In order for your coin service to offer the best in-person experience for your customers, it should offer these benefits:

  • Easy-to-Use. Ensure an elegant experience with a user-friendly interface and customized options tailored to your strategy.
  • Frees up staff time. The program and the kiosk should create less, not more work for your staff.
  • Cost-effective. Look for a program that doesn’t require any capital investment.
  • Flexibility. Beyond cash, customers may want to purchase gift cards, make donations, or use other services.
  • Verifiable track record. Work with a vendor with a trusted history and reliable equipment to cut down on service and repair times.

#5: Device Support and Training 

Your coin partner should be able to provide ongoing training for your team, both onsite and remote. For your own reconciliation and reporting, make sure your partner (like Coinstar)  is able to provide reporting and automation that supports your store logistics. Make sure you have real time visibility and accountability from your partner in the event of any variances. Other options that management should consider are:

  • Branding. Can the kiosk include your logo and institution information?
  • Field Support. Do you have access to a team of on-call technicians for the life of the machine with no additional cost?
  • Expert Account Management. When issues do arise, can you call an account manager who prioritizes your needs?
  • Customizable Features. Is your partner considering the specific needs of your front of store services? 
  • Capacity. Does the organization have adequate redundancy and resources to address your concerns and maintenance needs as soon as they arise?

Ready to learn how Coinstar for Retail can bring next-generation coin services right to your store? We’re ready to help! Get connected with a Coinstar for Retail representative and get started today.