In these turbulent times, more clients may consider paying in cash.
For some time now there has been a decreased use of cash as a method of payment in many businesses, Gow-Gates Insurance Brokers has noted.
“However, the need to pass on the cost involved in accepting credit card payments has meant that suddenly many travel agents are holding more cash,” the company states.
In an article carried on the AFTA website, Gow-Gates says that offering cash as a payment method to clients “is sometimes thought of as a no-brainer”. But agents need to think about cash protection once they receive their clients’ money, the broker advises.
Travel businesses finding they are holding more cash than before find it prudent to review their money insurance and cash handling procedures, Gow-Gates says.
The following is taken from a recent Gow-Gates advisory:
What is money insurance?
It may sound obvious, but money insurance covers cash and many other negotiable items against loss. Money can be insured:
- In transit or in a bank night safe
- On premises during normal business hours
- On premises outside normal business hours
- Whilst contained in a securely locked safe or strongroom
- In private residences
The money may be insured under some of the above categories, or may be insured under “blanket” cover which includes various combinations of these depending on your policy.
If the amount of money your business handles has changed, make sure you review your sums insured to accommodate these changes.
Some things to keep in mind are:
- Protecting staff and members of the public from physical harm must be the paramount consideration. Measures to protect cash must be avoided if they increase risk to your staff or the public.
- In any business that handles excessive amounts of cash, all staff, not just cashiers, must receive adequate “bandit training”. Would-be heroes can get themselves and others hurt, and the instruction of “no resistance” must be thoroughly understood.
- Management and staff must be vigilant, encouraged to report persons acting suspiciously, such as sitting in a car observing the premises.
- There must be clear instructions never to discuss cash and security where it may be overheard.
- When staff take money to the bank, are times, bags and routes varied?
- Keeping cash and counting operations out of site of the public is essential so as not to attract the attention of would-be criminals
- Physical and electronic security measures should be of a high standard and obvious. If it is difficult to get into cash holding areas and proceeds are limited with a high likelihood of the criminals being detected or recorded on camera, it is more likely that criminals will choose to go elsewhere.
- Preventing thefts of opportunity requires that cash is NEVER left unattended, on desks or in unlocked drawers. Thieves will often have others create a diversion.
- Always keep cash locked in an approved safe, especially after business hours (most insurance policies have very low thresholds on money not locked in safes after business hours).
- Cash is always a tempting target for burglars and it is unwise, after hours, to rely on a safe or intruder alarms on their own.
- It is important to have an effective detection alarm raising system and provide a delay by keeping cash within an appropriate cash-rated safe in the alarmed area.
Gow-Gates points out that these are just some suggestions and are in no way a complete list, nor a guarantee of protection, “but reviewing your procedures constantly is a step in the right direction”.
“Finally, remember to check your insurance policy and if necessary, increase the sums insured on your Money Cover.”
Edited by William Sykes