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Stacking Cassette vs. Rolled Storage Cassette Technology

There are two basic types of note storage designs inside of cash recyclers: Stacking Cassettes and Rolled Storage Modules (RSMs). They operate differently and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. But the important thing to remember, is that the internal note storage mechanism is not the deciding factor in selecting a cash recycler model. You should consider many other factors like intended location, capacity requirements, size, cost, complexity and maintenance. 

Let's look at the differences between rolled storage modules and stacking cassettes as it relates to cash recyclers and as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Stacking Cassettes

Stacking cassettes store notes stacked inside a box-like cassette. The notes are placed on top of each other, stacked from the bottom of the cassette to the top. The difference is that a stacking cassette in a cash recycler is both stacking and storing the notes as they are processed through the unit for both dispenses AND deposits. When a withdrawal is in progress, notes are removed from the cassette using friction-based picking.

Key Advantages

  • Typically faster deposit and withdrawal speed.
  • High note capacity.
  • Sometimes the cassettes can interface with an ATM.
  • Fast manual cassette loading*.

 *Although presented as an advantage, it begs the question of why would you ever load a cassette manually?  Opening the safe is a security breach and would trigger an audit.

Key Disadvantages

  • Denomination configuration.  Most machines are limited to six cassettes which severely impacts the options for configuring denominations in a branch. 
  • Multi-pick errors.  A byproduct of friction picking technology, it's when two notes are picked instead of one and puts the recycler out of balance.
  • Reader validation on dispense. Due to potential for errors like double picking. each note is passed through the reader before dispensing to the teller. Any notes in error are redirected to an internal reject area inside the recycler. 
  • Reject bin. This is a holding cassette for any notes rejected by the reader. Any rejected notes must be accounted for at the end of the day by performing a self-audit or manual audit to bring the device into balance. 
  • Security. If the safe is opened, notes can be rapidly emptied from stacking cassettes.  (A higher level of vulnerability during a robbery event.)

Rolled Storage Modules

Rolled Storage Modules (RSMs) store notes by rolling them onto drums in a cassette frame. The notes are held in place by thin clear strips of Mylar keeping tension on the notes at all times.  Depending on the machine, they are stored short-edge or long-edge first on the drums.

Key Advantages:

  • More cassettes. Two RSMs fit in the same physical space as one stacking cassette. And RSM recyclers typically have 8-12 cassettes..
  • Additional configuration options. You can configure multiple RSMs for the same denomination to meet higher demand for a particular denomination as well as to increase the overall capacity of the recycler for standard denominations. (i.e. If 20's are the most common banknote dispensed at your branch, you could assign 3 cassettes to that denomination.)
  • More device uptime. Cassettes are modular so if a cassette fails it can be disabled without taking the entire recycler out of service. Multiple cassettes of the same denomination assure redundancy.
  • Security. In the event of a robbery, notes cannot be removed from the cassette drums quickly or easily.
  • Higher note acceptance.  Fewer rejects to balance manually.
  • External reject bin. Most rejected notes can be reprocessed and accepted by the recycler. This reduces balancing errors and audits.

Disadvantages:

  • Lower total note capacity. 
  • Note "cupping". Notes stored on cassettes for very long periods have the possibility of “cupping”.  This is more commonly an issue with cassettes that store notes short-edge first, rather than long-edge.
  • Deposit and withdrawal speeds are normally slower than with stacking.