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Transporting Cash

My question is regarding the best practices for transportation of cash between branch locations and re-supplying of remote/free standing ATM locations. Is this commonly done via armored car service, by bank employees with police escort, etc.

Answer by Dana Turner:

Unfortunately, money is often transported by unarmed employees because the other options are fee-based.

Unarmed employees should NEVER transfer money to or from an exposed ATM. A secured, interior one is fine -- but any distance that those employees must travel in the open is not a sound -- or security-conscious -- practice. I suggest that you:

  1. Ask your local law enforcement agency to provide an escort if it has the time and officers available;
  2. Contract with a local security guard company to provide the escort service; or
  3. Expand an existing contract with an armored car company to include this service, simply as a "stand-by".

The liability that the bank incurs by having an unarmed employee -- even if there are two -- simply isn't worth the risk. If a robber takes the money and kills or injures one of the employees, it's likely that the injured employee would soon own a share of the bank.


Answer by Barbara Hurst:

As much as I like Dana's ideas, I think that guns and guards "ain't gonna happen" in most small / rural / remote financial institutions. I'd like to propose the following alternative: First - Never, never, never go alone. Second - Never, never, never go at night - especially for a "down" complaint call. Having said that - to service a remote ATM use two cars, and at least two people. One to service, one to watch. On arrival at the kiosk or ATM drive around to make sure there is nothing unusual. Note: the guy cutting the grass or the nice couple having a picnic may not be all that innocent. Don't assume. If all is in order, the "watcher" takes up a position where the entrance and/or access door to the ATM is totally visible. Doors to the car are locked, motor is running, windows are up - and the driver is visibly on a cell phone now talking to someone at the office - keep the line open the whole time, until all is complete. When the driver has the open line on the cell phone, he/she can signal the service person it is OK to begin. The service person then turns off his/her car and goes and services the ATM. When servicing is complete, and both of you are safe in your cars again, the watcher can then break the phone connection.

This procedure can be adapted. The point is to protect yourself as much as possible. Short of hiring outside guns and guards, this is the safest way we know of to service an ATM.

First published on 04/07/03

First published on 04/07/2003

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