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A Pep Talk from Pep-Up: How Smart Safes Changed Their Business

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Longtime WSFS Customer Pep-Up – a full-service petroleum distributor and convenience store operator – wasn’t necessarily looking for new efficiencies when they came across what would become a game changer for the business.

Pep-Up COO Bryan Pepper recalled a conversation several years ago when his WSFS relationship manager mentioned Cash Connect’s smart safe solutions. “To be honest, I found out about Cash Connect a bit by mistake but it has been a turning point for us. I’d never heard about smart safes before but it just made sense for us to consider them since we are dealing with cash all the time. Counting, controlling, transporting… that’s a lot of man hours and potential safety risks.”

Smart safes offer solutions to many of the challenges that Pepper describes, enabling businesses to expedite cash flow while increasing safety, convenience, and efficiency. Employees can deposit money directly into a smart safe where it is calculated quickly and without error. From there, cash can be transported by armored carrier to eliminate the risks associated with employees handling transport. 

“The recommendation to explore smart safes came naturally because of my familiarity with Bryan’s business model through his banking relationship with us,” said Jim Gise, who runs Middle Market, Syndications and Capital Markets for WSFS, and is Pepper’s relationship manager. “It is our goal to not only know how our customers operate but to help them succeed by understanding it and recommending ways to be more efficient.”

Pepper’s business provides petroleum to customers in three states, a product he says many people still pay for in cash, especially in the winter. In addition, Pep-Up operates four convenience stores and 2 Arby’s restaurants, which are also cash heavy businesses. The company began working with Cash Connect five years ago and never looked back.

“Pep-Up is a perfect example of the type of business that could benefit from the operational efficiencies that smart safes present,” said Gabrielle Widenor, Client Relationship Manager for Cash Connect. “As Bryan’s business continued – and continues – to grow, finding ways to quickly and safely manage cash across various types of transactions and in multiple states remains a top priority.”

“Using this product prevents our staff from having to go to the bank, something they used to do late at night which is a safety issue,” said Pepper. “The safe counts the money immediately, we can get credit quickly, automated check deposits, everything can happen right on site. It’s been a huge time savings for us.”

Many of the risks faced by businesses that handle large amounts of cash come in the form of inefficiencies, accounting errors, and safety risks of transporting cash. By leveraging a full-service partner, Pepper’s team can spend their time focusing on customers while Cash Connect’s solutions manage the cash.

“I trusted that this would be a service that would help my business level up because that recommendation came from WSFS,” said Pepper. “WSFS has been there to provide advice, capital and solutions for my business over the past 10 years. My business has grown immensely due to this relationship. They are a partner, not just my banker.”

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