Forecourt operator Circle K has partnered with Premium Cash Solutions (PCS) to install automated machines in 74 of its stores to eliminate the need for staff to handle cash.

The newly installed SafePay systems are designed to enhance levels of security at Circle K locations by preventing theft.

"The safety of our colleagues is a key priority for us at Circle K and the SafePay system enables us to enhance our level of security and deliver a safer environment for colleagues working at our locations and indeed customers visiting our stores," said Paul Dixon, Regional Director of Operations at Circle K.

SafePay also helps to reduce daily administrative activity for staff driving more efficiencies and control.

"This will be hugely beneficial for our colleagues enabling them to focus even more on the instore offering and level of customer experience, something which is really important to us at Circle K," Mr Dixon said.

Alan Condron, Director at Premium Cash Solutions said for many businesses, accepting and handling cash is virtually unavoidable and is a labour-intensive process.

"This translates into excessive labour costs and losses due to counterfeit fraud, administrative errors and even robbery.

"With cash still in circulation, manual tills are reaching the end of an era and are being replaced by automated systems that can better manage the journey of cash from the moment it leaves the customers' hand until it reaches a business' bank," he said.

The new partnership between Circle K and Premium Cash Solutions is worth €2.5 million.