RESEARCH by a security expert has identified the dwindling prices charged to service clients as one of the biggest threats facing the cash-in-transit industry.

Despite the cash in circulation more than doubling from 2007-2016‚ the service price has declined dramatically in the past 15 years, joint chief executive of Cash Connect Management Solutions Richard Phillips said on Wednesday at a cash-in-transit seminar at the Institute for Security Studies.

"The greatest single threat is the persistent assault on service pricing of the industry.

"Fifteen years ago it cost between R130 and R170 per service to transport money by an armoured truck, but in 2016 the figure has dropped to between R90 and R107 per delivery‚ while inflation has risen by 87% over the last 10 years‚" Phillips said.

ISS senior researcher Dr Johan Burger said this could be the reason for the 39% increase in cash-in-transit heists in 2015.

Phillips said the amount of cash in circulation in SA had increased to R130bn in 2016 from R60bn in 2007.

"About 85% of the transactions in the world are still conducted in cash, while in SA it is 90%," he said.

"This money is moved by cash-in-transit vehicles‚ which shows that though the cash-in-transit industry is small‚ it is a lifeblood of the economy and if it was brought to a halt‚ the economy would be throttled‚" he said.

He warned that if the country was not careful‚ there was a risk "of regressing from where we were 20 years ago".

"The criminal justice system appears to be no longer making crime in this sector a priority, while the industry is battling to maintain balance between profitability and professionalism‚" he said.

Richards called for the regulation of service pricing‚ arguing that failure to do so could choke the industry.

"There needs to be close collaboration between the cash-in-transit industry and SAPS (South African Police Service) and the justice cluster to tackle the organised crime as a priority initiative‚" he said.

TMG Digital

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