NTUC FairPrice rolls out iCash system
NTUC FairPrice is rolling out a new iCash system, a service innovation it says will boost productivity and enhance customer satisfaction.
The ‘closed loop cash management system’ automates the acceptance and dispensing of cash for customers and cashiers, thereby increasing cashiers’ productivity and improving customer service. The supermarket chain says the system will help FairPrice address manpower challenges in the industry.
In short, customers will feed cash payments into a machine, eliminating potential for human error in issuing change.
First trialled in Cheers stores in May this year, with support from Spring Singapore, the system was subsequently customised and piloted in FairPrice stores in September. iCash will now be rolled out gradually to both FairPrice and Cheers stores across the island.
Gerry Lee, deputy CEO (operations), with NTUC FairPrice, said that as a major retailer with some 10,000 employees, FairPrice is always looking for innovative ways to improve customer service and boost productivity.
“The iCash system is a crucial investment in our efforts to increase efficiency and optimise manpower resources so that customers enjoy smoother checkouts with accurate payment handling and better service. For a start, we have deployed the system at two FairPrice outlets in Bukit Batok West and Punggol Walk, and five Cheers outlets. We will be rolling it out to 11 more Cheers and FairPrice outlets by the end of the year.”
iCash eliminates the need to manually prepare cash floats for each cashier at the start of the business day, as well as the process of collecting, verifying and cross-checking these floats with the chief cashier before and after shifts. It provides greater security as cash is moved from the sales floor to the back room in secured cassettes that deter potential theft. The system also leaves less room for human error.
With iCash, FairPrice’s cashiers reduce time spent on performing cash reconciliation tasks by about 35 per cent, while chief cashiers save about 50 per cent of time usually spent on cash reconciliation. This translates to about half an hour of time savings for each cashier daily. The system also affords more flexibility and versatility as more time can be spent performing other duties such as stock management and merchandising.
The ease of use of the iCash system also means that other store employees can be cross trained as cashiers, providing all staff with opportunities to expand their skill set and increase employability.
iCash also benefits customers. When a customer makes payment, the system automatically collects payment and dispenses change accurately, removing the need for manual payment to a cashier. This ensures greater accuracy in cash payments, and frees cashiers to focus on interacting with customers to serve them better.
Over the years, FairPrice has introduced a slew of technology-based solutions to increase productivity and provide hassle-free shopping. These include self-checkout counters, electronic shelf labelling, the Scan2Go service and Visa payWave contactless payment.