ATM Replenishment and the Importance of Identifying Exceptions

ATM replenishment and the importance of exceptions management

The ATM Replenishment Process

What does ATM stand for? An ATM (Automated Teller Machine) is a specialised computer that provides convenience in managing a bank account holder’s funds. By inserting a bank card or credit card, a person can check their account balance, complete a cash withdrawal, and print a statement of account activities or banking transactions. There is only a certain amount of cash in the machine at any time. Therefore, the terminal must go through an ATM replenishment cycle. ATM replenishment is the process when a third party hired by the bank removes the leftover money in the machine and replaces it with a fresh load. 

The bank notes go into cassettes based on their denomination. The cash bundles, now accurately assessed and scrutinised, will ensure a high level of accuracy. The replenishment amount is pre-decided before loading; this will later become the crucial first step in the reconciliation process used by our system.

The bank decides the cash loading amount in advance. The bank and the third-party company used for the cash processing will sign off on the cash total. This two-step process ensures transparency in the first step of the replenishment process.  




Cash Processing

Cash Processing personnel then prepare the orders for each ATM replenishment on that route. The money is sorted into its correct cassette, sealed, documented and signed off. Next, the cassettes are put into sealed bags and are now ready to be sent to their designated terminal.

When transporting the cash to ATM, before inputting the new cash-filled cassettes, the old ones get collected, along with any extra notes found in the purge bin. The journal roll from the ATM machine also gets taken. This roll contains a record of all the transactions that have taken place since the last replenishment. It is a crucial part of the reconciliation process in our system, as it provides another set of data to compare with the physical cash collected. 

At this point, the chosen terminal replenishment is complete. The new cash load is in place for that cycle.


Old Cassettes

The previous cycle’s cash cassettes are returned to the reconciliation officer, who is given all the paperwork including the journal roll. He will then commence the cash count. He will also count the physical cash and reconcile it with the ATM receipt. If the physical cash does not match the paperwork, this will result in an exception when the data sets are balanced off. 

The data from this step in the reconciliation process will be input into our system.  This will allow for a more comprehensive view of the process from start to finish.  

An escalation process will begin if discrepancies between the journal and the cash count occur. A cash recount is the first step in this process.

Finally, the amalgamated cash from all terminals visited that day is processed at the cash centre. Multiple parties will sign off on the documentation, including a bank representative. The ATM replenishment cycle for that terminal is now complete.


ATM Reconciliation and How The Sonas Solution Reconciles

In basic terms, reconciliation is the process of comparing two sets of data. For example, transactions and activity, to appropriate accompanying documentation. Furthermore, reconciliation involves resolving any located inconsistencies in the data. Reconciliation ensures the authenticity and accuracy of financial information. As well as this, a proper reconciliation process ensures that unauthorised changes have not occurred to transactions throughout the process.




Sonas Systems’ role in ATM Replenishment


  • Sonas ATM cash management software reconciles cash balances in real-time or periodically. All with reconciled cash positions, shown through a consolidated view of your device’s physical cash and transactional history.
  • Sonas’ software gives a level of transparency like no other system on the market. Our real-time data capturing app, combined with our software, provides real-time updates and notifications. This capability results in increased communication, better relationships with clients and higher productivity in the workplace.
  • Sonas’ ATM cash management software is the only reconciliation solution with an app that captures source documentation in real-time. This works through the use of OCR (optimal character recognition). It will also enable the user to see which guard carried out the process and at which date and time.
  • The replenishment information is viewable on the system instantaneously via the cloud.


  • The source documentation is then integrated into the system for the identification of exceptions & claims, facilitating easy resolution and providing detailed reporting.


The Identification of Exceptions & the Importance of Identifying Them

In simple terms, exceptions are discrepancies between two data sets. Allowing exceptions to go unaddressed over time can lead to avoidable built-up losses in the ATM replenishment cycle.

A thorough investigation of exceptions will help discover where the weaknesses lie in the cash cycle. For example, is it a technical fault with an ATM? Or is it something more sinister, like employee theft? 

When money goes astray under third-party supervision, it leads to claims filed from the bank to account for the missing capital. Sonas Systems’ ability to manage exceptions will identify issues much faster than any manual process.

This software could save money for the cash processing company in instances where they can prove it was simply a terminal malfunction rather than theft.  

This process also encourages a healthy, professional way to resolve disputes between organisations over minor discrepancies in the reconciliation process.


SONAS Exception Management 

Our system software allows for:

  • Quick and accurate investigations and resolutions


  • Ability to aid individual investigation steps through direct source documentation uploads
  • The increased flow of communication with electronic sign-off capabilities


  • Complete audit trails allowing the ability to record information accurately. 


  • Capability to accurately record, track, investigate, and resolve exceptions and claims


Final Thoughts

Reconciliation ensures the authenticity and accuracy of financial information in the cash replenishment cycle. Sonas’ ATM cash management software allows cash reconciliation in real-time or periodically. This process provides a much more comprehensive view of the cash replenishment cycle. With no similar product on the market, it is easy to see how this new exception managing capability results in increased communication and better relationships between organisations regarding claims management.