What happens if a cashier puts the wrong change in the wrong cups?

If the wrong denomination is put into the wrong compartment/cup by accident then a discrepancy will be created by the SMARTtill® Solution. A quick interrogation of the system will show the cause of the error and it is easily remedied by moving the denomination to the correct cup.

What happens with damage/taped notes/bills?

Generally, a single damaged/taped note/bill will not impact the accuracy of the SMARTtill® Unit.

There is a built-in tolerance to allow for variations in note/bill weights; however, if a note/bill is extremely wet or damaged, then it may fall outside of the allowed tolerances and create a discrepancy in real-time. Investigation of any discrepancies flagged should include a visual check of the intelligent cash drawer contents which will quickly highlight the cause. Items like this should be managed on an exception basis.

For Sterling currency, can you mix 1 pence/2 pence together and 5p/10p inside a SMARTtill® Unit?

Yes, but it is not recommended due to the impact on top up / change values and reporting. The recommended values during top-ups would need to be based on the lowest denomination in the mixed cup: 1p and 5p. So for instance, if you mix 1p and 2p, the average weight for that compartment/cup will be based on 1p weight. 

Can the system manage dual currencies in one single drawer (E.g. Euro and Sterling)?

Yes, it could, but the size of the product would be larger than a standard cash drawer footprint due to the fact that each denomination for both currencies would need to be weighed in its own compartment/cup. For Sterling and Euro, a SMARTtill® Unit would require 12 different compartments (8 for coins and 4 for notes) for Sterling and another 6 cups for Euro notes/bills for instance.

How accurate is the Technology for the notes/bills?

As part of the industry weighing standard, there is a limitation to weighing note/coins in bulk. The accuracy of weighing the notes/bills relies on how it is used and the cashier discipline in the sorting of the coins and notes/bills. When weighing more than 10 notes/bills (in bulk) of the same denomination during one transaction, the probability of getting an accurate count reduces. To eradicate this limitation, the SMARTtill® Unit has a feature that APG refers to as “Bulk Deposit” which allows the operator to deposit more than 10 notes/bills into the Unit.

What happens when a new note/bill or coin is issued?

APG Cash Drawer is registered with the coin and note/bill issuers in each country where the solution is deployed. In the event that a new version of a note/bill or coin is released, we will be notified, along with the rest of the cash handling industry. From the information provided, we decide on the appropriate approach to suit the change and distribute it to our customers.

This could be the two versions of the coin or note/bill sharing the same cup, if the difference between weights is manageable, or allocating a spare cup to one of the versions if it is not. If the difference in the weights of the old and new denomination is manageable, both currencies will share the same compartment. However, if the customer prefers to handle these in its own separate compartments or the weight difference is not manageable, a separate compartment will be allocated for the new denomination inside the unit.

APG provides software tools which enable remote updates of the currency configuration file on the SMARTtill® Unit when average currency weights have to be modified. The process takes only a few minutes.

Does the SMARTtill® Technology handle polymer notes/bills?

Yes, the SMARTtill® Solution weighs polymer notes/bills in the same way as paper notes/bills. Polymer and paper notes/bills of the same denomination can be mixed in the same cup, given the average weight between them is within tolerance.

Does the SMARTtill® Unit manage counterfeit currency?

No, it uses weighing technology only and has no means of validating UV and other visual/hidden security features on notes/bills against counterfeit.

For counterfeit detection purposes, the SMARTtill® Solution would need to be combined with some intelligent smart safe or note/bill validator at point of sale.

Can the SMARTtill® Solution interface with a cash counter unit such as a Smart Safe?

Yes, the SMARTtill® Solution can be interfaced with other POS peripheral devices such as smart safes and CCTV.

How do you manage other media (stamps, vouchers, etc…)?

Depending on the currency and customer preference, there can be compartments with no weighing technology beneath them for storing non-cash / other media items.

For Euros, the capacity accounts for all available note/bill compartments, so non-cash items must be stored outside the SMARTtill® Unit. In these scenarios, we can offer a separate custom-made storage drawer that can be produced, subject to customer lane podia design and approval (not included in the price).

For Sterling, there are two spare “note/bill” compartments with no weighing technology beneath them where non-cash items can be stored.

For US Dollars, there is one spare “note/bill” compartment with no weighing technology beneath to store “checks”. Other media can also be stored in this compartment.

How does the SMARTtill® Unit manage or control additional change bags?

Change bags/coins rolls need to be emptied into the relevant cups so the amount can be reconciled and become part of the float value. There is no need to keep change bags/rolls unopened since there is no manual counting. While keeping bags/rolls packed is logical and enables a faster manual count, the SMARTtill® Intelligent Cash Drawer now counts them automatically.  There is no need to keep spare change bags/coin rolls at the PoS since there is no manual counting and with SMARTtill® the user is working with optimum float. While keeping coin bags/rolls unopened is logical as enables faster manual count, the SMARTtill® Solution has the ability to count the content of the bags/rolls automatically once the coins are dropped into the SMARTtill® Unit.

Can you remove the in-tray (insert) to secure the coins in the back office overnight?

Only the coin cups can be removed from a SMARTtill® Unit, not the entire insert. A night storage tray is available from APG for coin cups / left over notes/bills that require overnight storage. You can also buy replacement coin cups from APG.

If you run a cashier accountability model in your stores, one float per cashier, you can move to one float per POS freeing up dead cash for all floats that are no longer needed whilst retaining cashiers’ traceability.

What is the coin and note capacity (used notes)?

The value of the float capacity varies between each currency and the models (flip or slide out). Please review the product sheet for each version of the SMARTtill® Unit for the exact details.

Can you change the coin and note/bill layout in the SMARTtill® Unit?

Physically yes, but it cannot be done once the product is installed, integrated and configured with the POS application since the file structure of the POS application must match the location of the denominations in the unit.

Does the weighing technology increase transaction time?

No, the SMARTtill® Technology does not interfere with transactions and does not interrupt the normal running of the ePOS. While it is weighing, the user can serve the next customer and cash in the next transaction.

How often does a SMARTtill® Unit need calibrating?

A calibration with weights must be carried out upon installation of the physical hardware. This includes any swap outs (replacement) of the Units.

How often does the SMARTtill® Solution need to be reset (tare the weight)?

A weight tare (reset) should be performed when the POS application needs to reconcile a cashier float or a period of trade, and there is a discrepancy on account (sum of discrepancies for that period). This is the best time to perform this process from a store operative/process point of view. We recommend that at least one reset is performed per day on any trading POS.

There is no need to reset a SMARTtill® Unit that has not traded for the day. There is no limit on the number of resets that can be performed by a store operative in a trading day, so if one is performed incorrectly, such as coin cups were left in during the reset, for instance, then another reset can be performed again.

The reset process only takes few seconds.

Can the technology be put inside any shape drawer?

Yes, the SMARTtill® Solution is available in a variety of sizes. APG has decades of experience in designing and manufacturing cash drawers to meet or exceed any special customer requirements if the existing sizes do not suit.

What happens to data if power is interrupted?

The intelligent element of the solution receives, in most cases, power from a kick out cable. If power from the device (Printer or POS central Unit) is interrupted, then the weighing and communication will no longer function.

Can you link the discrepancies to an alarm? E.g. sending a text to a mobile phone…?

The data can be outputted to any interface if it is required — this would need to be the customer’s own development. CCTV video can also be interlaid with the alert generated by the SMARTtill® Solution enabling more in-depth and faster cash shrinkage investigations.

Do you have to run new network cables when the solution is networked to the store?

No, the solution is in most cases a peripheral to the POS and data is communicated on the POS’s existing network connection. The data (till count) generated by the SMARTtill® Unit merges with the existing POS cash transaction data (transaction number, cashier ID, POS ID etc.).

Does the SMARTtill® Solution work in the hospitality environment?

Yes. Environmental consideration needs to be given to exposure to liquids and other ingress / foreign objects on a case by case basis. Note that the technology would not function in businesses operating on moving structures such as trains, boats or planes.

Does the SMARTtill® Solution work in a high speed sales environment?

Yes, on average the SMARTtill® Intelligent Cash Drawer takes 1.5 seconds to weigh a float. If this is interrupted, the results are combined into one count.

What port/protocol does the SMARTtill® Unit communicate with?

The protocol is proprietary and the device is connected to a POS via serial connection; standard serial comm port or USB 2 — technically compatible with USB 3. Numerous POS drivers are available for POS applications and hardware.

Can you connect more than one SMARTtill® Intelligent Cash Drawer to a single printer?

Yes, the SMARTtill® Unit is connected between the POS and the printer. So in the scenario that multiple POS use the same printer, the routing of data is carried out beyond the SMARTtill® Unit.

Can you connect more than one SMARTtill® Intelligent Cash Drawer to a single POS?

Yes, two SMARTtill® Units can be connected to a single POS using two separate communication ports. The management of the float/till count data generated by both Units for one single POS ID and multiple cashiers would be handled by the POS application.

Can you operate the SMARTtill® Intelligent Cash Drawer in a tablet POS environment?

Yes, you can operate a SMARTtill® Unit in a mobile POS environment using server hardware and some custom middleware to interface the mobile POS tablets with the SMARTtill® Device. The custom middleware will need to be specified and coded as it will vary from one end user infrastructure to another.

Does the SMARTtill® Technology use Bluetooth or wireless?

No, this is not currently a feature on the product.

How do you manage your driver software upgrades?

Standard executable files which are run according to the customer’s IT policy. 

How long does it take to integrate the device with a POS application and hardware?

Standard POS integrations can vary from 1 to 2 weeks once the functional and technical specifications have been defined and agreed upon with the end user. Some development can take longer depending on the level of complexity of the end user’s current infrastructure. APG provides numerous POS drivers which reduce the scope of POS application integrations and speed up the code change.

Does APG provide a Software Development Kit (SDK)?

Yes, APG offers a developer toolkit and supports on a variety of industry-standard drivers. A virtual simulator is also available to help with the POS integration process.

APG also offers application consultancy to ensure the correct integration with POS application occurs.