Making cash supplies more resilient

Ensuring the supply of cash in a crisis: Optimization algorithm for determining key cash ­withdrawal points in Germany as part of a new security framework

An intact cash cycle is important. What happens, however, if crisis situations disrupt the circulation of cash and today’s widely adopted electronic payment methods cease to work?

In the Resilience of Cash Supply (BASIC) consortium project, the German Central Bank, commercial banks, trading companies, cash-/valuables-in-transit service providers and research institutions are developing the first ever holistic cash security framework that is designed for the long term and takes into account all the players involved and their needs. For specific scenarios, researchers at our Center for Applied Research on Supply Chain Services define the optimum cash delivery by means of mathematical optimization. They pinpoint which data needs to be available for an optimization in a given crisis situation. And based on the available data, they calculate the most relevant cash withdrawal points (ATMs and banks) in order to prioritize their supply or, for example, to equip them with crisis-proof emergency power generators. Moreover, the optimization algorithm can be adapted individually to the crisis setting through various parameters. This new, integrated approach will improve the supra-regional availability of cash in emergency situations.