For a number of years, the Banque de France has been pushing ahead with a plan to transform its cash activities, focusing on a number of key aspects: automation of cash processing; dematerialisation of processes; optimisation of logistics; reduction of manual processes; use of more eco-friendly packaging (wood and cardboard instead of plastic); and enhancement of security and traceability.
2016 was a major milestone in the transformation plan: work was completed on the first cash centre modernisations (Avignon in February 2016, Caen in autumn 2016) and a new, fully automated cash management centre was opened in the second half of the year in Sainghin-en-Mélantois near Lille (CEFINOF or Nord de France Currency Management Centre). The project is set to continue up to 2020 and beyond, with the opening of another automated cash management centre in La Courneuve near Paris in 2018 and the modernisation of other cash centres throughout the network.
The Nord de France Cash Management Centre (CEFINOF) near Lille
The overhaul of operations at the branches is delivering benefits across the entire cash cycle, helping to optimise the cash logistics chain, cut costs, enhance traceability and improve steering tools.
As part of the modernisation project, a number of Banque de France sites will stop receiving and distributing euro coins. In order to minimise the impact on cash-in-transit firms, the Bank is giving them the option of opening local auxiliary coin depositories, and will provide them with access to a stock of coins held at one of its vaults. Firms using this service will have to sign a contract, and the stock will remain the property of the Banque de France; coins will be replenished, removed and monitored by the Bank.
The experiment was launched in July 2014 with the opening of two test sites in Valence and Bourg-en-Bresse, both supervised by the Lyon branch of the Banque de France. In December 2015, the Cash Monitoring Committee deemed the results to be positive, and a third depository was opened in February 2016 in Saint-Laurent-du-Var, supervised by the Nice Banque de France branch. Aside from these test sites, auxiliary depositories will only open in areas where existing Banque de France cash centres have ceased all coin-related activities. The depositories will also have to meet strict criteria in terms of security, storage capacity and ease of access to the Banque de France vault.
Cash-in-transit firms that are unwilling or unable to open an auxiliary depository will be able to obtain or deposit coins at another Banque de France cash centre.
The GS1 system sets standard identifiers for products (notably barcodes) and standard message formats for the exchange of electronic data.In the cash industry, GS1 barcodes are used to identify packages of coins and banknotes (as with consumer goods), while GS1 messages are used to exchange information with other cash cycle participants (notably cash-in-transit firms, our main clients). Studies are currently underway into how to ensure the end-to-end traceability of certain categories of banknote (e.g. notes suspected of being counterfeit). In addition, GS1 France recently set up a French cash community to encourage the use of shared standards at all levels of the industry, right up to the major retailers.The Banque de France uses GS1 standards extensively: as well as using them in its external processes, the Bank has also adopted GS1 message formats for its internal process software.Outside France, GS1 standards have been adopted by the central banks of Germany, Italy, Spain, Slovenia and Greece. Other central banks may adopt them in the short or medium term.
Updated on: 01/10/2017 11:39