1. What is the Cash Visibility Initiative?
    The Cash Visibility Initiative’s primary focus is to improve the cash supply chain using supply chain logistics concepts that other industries have adopted to achieve significant efficiencies and product and service level benefits. At the core, these concepts entail implementation of a standardized framework for identifying, tracking, and electronically exchanging information about cash packages that move between and among participants in a way that allows integration of process and information flows within and across these organizations, including manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and even end users.
     
  2. How did this effort get started?
    The Federal Reserve’s Cash Product Office (CPO), the top 15 cash-handling banks, and the top 5 armored carriers (including a representative from the Independent Armored Car Association), collaborated on a business case to determine if a framework for electronically sharing data about cash packages transferred among organizations involved in the cash supply chain should be pursued. Based on the results of the business case, the group determined that standards for a framework and consistent cash bag identification would be beneficial.
     
  3. Where is the effort today?
    Since 2014, the aforementioned group and additional participants in the cash supply chain have developed an implementation guide for Cash Visibility and are actively implementing the standards.
     
  4. How does my organization fit into the supply chain?
    Aren’t supply chains just for manufacturing? What is a cash supply chain? A supply chain is defined as “the sequence of processes involved in the production and distribution of a commodity.” By thinking of cash as a commodity, then the Federal Reserve, depository institutions, armored carriers, and merchants are all essential in its distribution.
     
  5. Why should an organization participate?
    As financial institutions, armored carriers, the Federal Reserve Bank, and other participants in the cash supply chain, such as merchants, begin to incorporate package tracking capabilities into their inventory management systems, these investments can be leveraged to drive adoption of data standards and a framework for electronically exchanging data that will create cash supply chain integration and efficiency.
     
  6. Does my organization have to participate?
    What’s the impact if we don’t participate? Currently, there is no mandate that organizations participate. However, individual banks, carriers, and merchants could opt to participate as part of their day-to-day business. Additionally, if an organization participates they may gain access to certain business partners, business processes, or value-added service offerings if they are able to communicate with the same standardized data and identify locations and valuables in the same way.
     
  7. Who is paying for this?
    What are all of the potential costs associated with the process? At this time, each organization will be responsible for the costs associated with implementation. The given cost is the licensing of a GS1 US company prefix. Other costs that may apply are software, hardware, and training that would be based on each organization’s infrastructure. Each organization will need to evaluate its need to engage experts and the cost associated with participating in this initiative.
     
  8. Who will own the deployed technology and the ongoing maintenance?
    GS1 US maintains a catalog of assigned company prefix holders. GS1 US does not deploy or maintain proprietary software or hardware. Those deployment and maintenance decisions will be owned by software/solution providers and the organizations/entities implementing those solutions.
     
  9. Will the final solution be offered to users at a specific fee or as part of a packaged/bundled transportation or banking solution?
    The GS1 US Company Prefix is offered at a fixed and recurring fee rate. The hardware, software, and other value-added services may be offered by individual organizations that will be responsible for price setting.
     
  10. What is the post-deployment "client care" for remediation of issues/problems or general service and product questions?
    This may depend on the issues or services needed. Any issues or service questions regarding the GS1 Company Prefix, and training and education regarding GS1 Identifiers will be addressed by the GS1 US Customer Support Center. The appropriate provider would handle hardware, software, and/or solutions issues.
     
  11. Who else has standardized the cash supply chain?
    Will there be a standard transmission format that everyone would use when transmitting information being proposed? The German Central Bank along with GS1 developed supply chain logistics standards for the cash cycle in Europe in 2006. GS1 Germany uses a standard transmission format, known as GS1 XML. Many other Central Banks throughout Europe have since adopted GS1 Standards for the cash supply chain.
     
  12. Will the technology used be highly customized or more standard and commercially available?
    Many international software and hardware providers have already incorporated GS1 Standards into their solutions because of the GS1 Germany initiative. Some U.S. companies using internally developed systems have indicated the changes required would be minimal in mapping new fields, such as Global Location Number (GLN) and Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC), to existing software fields. This may depend on the solution and/or the amount of information an organization chooses to capture from the standardized messages.
     
  13. How can an organization get involved and benefit from this effort?
    To learn more and to keep up to date with this effort, sign up for our mailing list by visiting www.gs1us.org or email cashvis@gs1us.org.