Providing meaningful workplace solutions

Partner Case Study: Safe and secure with Lyreco

In 2020, a leading UK retailer reached out to Lyreco to assist in the reduction of fraudulent activity in their 300+ stores.

With cash losses on the rise due to an uplift in the use of fraudulent banknotes in-store, the retailer turned to Lyreco to unearth a cost-effective and impactful forged note detection solution; one that would negate the financial impact of imitation banknotes, support front line cashier staff, whilst maintaining a great in-store consumer experience.

The cost and inconvenience of fraudulent banknote use to retailers can be significant.  In 2019, the Bank of England reported it had removed around £5million worth of counterfeit notes from circulation in just six months, emphasising the scale of the issue for retailers.

A large retailer wanted to find a cost-effective and workable solution to help staff within stores quickly and discreetly uncover when attempts are made to pay for goods with forged banknotes.   The need to reduce the acceptance and processing of fraudulent notes across the 300 strong store network was apparent when the annual loss due to the issue reached more than £50,000.

The issue was handled with great care and sensitivity.  A thorough analysis was conducted to ensure that any new solution to the problem would not compromise the customer experience at the till point and that cashiers would feel more comfortable using a swifter and more efficient method of counterfeit note detection during their daily work.

The retailer approached Lyreco to source and implement a solution for the problem.

Understanding the issue

Lyreco partnered with Safescan, specialists in smart, secure cash handling and workforce management tools.  The combined team began the quest by firstly spending time with the retailer’s loss prevention department to fully understand the journey of cash through the business.  Site visits were set up to review all the touchpoints of cash through the business infrastructure up until when the cash needed banking.

The main learning from this piece of valuable work was the discovery that the retailer was relying upon outdated detection technology which, not only delayed the customer processing through the till point but also required a high level of expertise from cashiers and was essentially no longer fit for purpose.

The right solution

Lyreco and Safescan then developed a proposal that would support the retailer’s desire to reduce the impact of cash losses, whilst also retaining a smooth and quick customer check-out experience.

The recommendation focussed upon a detailed analysis of the main types and volumes of fraudulent notes in question which were primarily £20 and £50 notes. Lyreco and Safescan then settled upon the suggestion of a nine-month trial at several selected stores using Safescan 155-S note checker technology.

The Safescan 155-S uses the latest counterfeit detection technology to scrutinise seven advanced security features built into today’s currencies: infrared ink, magnetic ink, metallic thread, colour, size, thickness, and watermark. The technology even detects double notes and half notes. In just half a second, cashiers can know with 100% certainty whether the banknote presented is genuine or counterfeit.   The terminal is discreet and small and sits easily at till points, so it is available for quick use with cashiers checking all notes as a matter of course.

Cash losses eradicated

The outcome of the trial was conclusive.  The ten stores chosen to pilot the Safescan note checker technology saw cash losses cut completely over the nine months of the trial.  Cashiers quickly got to grips with how the technology worked to detect a counterfeit note and customers were unaffected by potential delays at the till point.

Such was the success of the trial; the retailer has now expanded the solution to encompass a nationwide rollout across its entire retail store estate.  With a return on investment anticipated after just eight months, the retailer management team has readily acknowledged the positive impact the solution will have on the business over the short and long term.

With the system now in widespread use, Lyreco’s customer has benefitted in several ways.  It now has a quick and accurate fraud prevention solution that detects bogus £20 and £50 notes to drive a drastic reduction of potential cash losses to the business and save £50,000 in the process.  It has also further helped to remove items from circulation so other retailers can no longer be affected by such imitation banknotes.

Importantly, staff who work on the customer-facing front line now have a quick and failsafe method to check all notes and can sensitively and accurately spot those which require action, making their lives and the customer experience much better.

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