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SecurCash Uses RFID to Securely Service ATMs

A Dutch company that shuttles cash between automated teller machines, cash centers and banks is using RFID to reduce overall administration costs, ensure its compliance with insurance regulations and provide better customer service.
By Rhea Wessel
Mar 22, 2007SecurCash, a cash transit company that has worked in the Dutch market for two years as a transporter of valuables for banks and retail companies, is testing and developing a system from CaptureTech in Holland that uses RFID to track the amount of cash in each ATM cassette or cartridge it places in ATMs. The system, called PoolTr@ce, ensures that banks—SecurCash's customers—receive secure and documented cash deliveries without having to send personnel to an ATM location. SecurCash calls this service a "person-independent" money transfer.

Currently, bank personnel must meet a SecurCash driver to verify that a delivery has been made. "Logistically," says Fred Rensenbrink, managing director of SecurCash, "it was a problem because we were always waiting for the bank employee to meet us at an unmanned ATM."
PoolTr@ce exemplifies a growing trend among banks of no longer servicing ATMs from bank branches, says Sander de Ridder, founder of CaptureTech. Increasingly, he says, cash is handled off-site at cash centers.

CaptureTech's RFID system works in tandem with track-and-trace software from TransTrack International, not only to help automate the process of filling banknote cassettes, but also to keep detailed records of when the liability for in-transit banknotes changes hands.

PoolTr@ce (so named because groups of ATM cassettes are called pools) is an extension of CaptureTech's RFID-based application, SealTr@ck. With SealTr@ck, RFID-enabled sealed cash bags (sealbags) are deposited into safes wired with RFID readers (see Dutch Banks Follow the Money). When the bags are dropped, the reader in the safe notes each bag's ID number and the time the liability for the bag has changed hands. Presently, this system is installed in more than 400 bank locations and more than 500 retail sites. The SealTr@ck project, launched in 2003, was created on behalf of Rabobank, a cooperative association of independent banks.

SecurCash has been testing PoolTr@ce on 100 cassettes at a location in Holland, though Rensenbrink declines to name the bank participating in the pilot. When a cassette must be filled for delivery to an ATM, a cash handler at the bank's cash center enters the request into a computer controlling an automatic banknote-counting machine. The machine fills the cassette/cartridge with the specified banknotes, then an RFID interrogator encodes the two passive read-write tags on the cartridge. The first is an EPC Class 1 Gen 2 UHF tag, while the other is a 13.56 MHz tag that complies with the ISO 18000-3 standard. Two tags are needed because the cash center is currently equipped with a UHF RFID portal. At the end of the year, however, HF (13.56 MHz) readers will be installed inside ATMs to document the amount of incoming and outgoing cash. Each tag is encoded with a unique ID number and an encrypted number that reflects the amount of money in the cassette.

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