Drop boxes are metal boxes designed to hold sensitive items, such as keys or cash deposits. People can drop items to these boxes, but cannot withdraw them without the key or access code to open the box.
There are a number of businesses that have need of drop boxes or key drop boxes. For instance, car rental services might have their customers leave their keys in a key drop box if it's after hours, and a rental clerk can then retrieve in the morning without risk of someone stealing the car. Shipping services like UPS also sometimes use drop boxes for their customers to deposit items to be shipped in. Another common use of drop boxes is for employees to make periodic cash drops in order to keep excess cash out of the register.
Drop boxes are also referred to as drop safes, hopper safes, depository safes, front-loading safes and top-loading safes. The primary difference between these types of drop boxes is in the type of door or slot by which people insert items, and the security system that prevents unauthorized entry into the drop box
Front-loading drop boxes usually have a slot on the front of the box or a front door in that must be opened before an item can be inserted. Top-loading drop boxes usually have a slot on the top of the box, or something called a rotary hopper. With a rotary hopper, an item must be inserted into the slot and then a handle or knob is turned to send the item into the box. This method prevents people from "fishing" through the top slot in the drop box to get to its contents.
There are a number of options available for the locking mechanism on a drop box. Some drop boxes are simple key locks, or dual key locks. Others use a rotary combination dial, similar to standard safes. Others use numeric codes entered via a keypad on the drop box. Regardless of the method, all drop boxes are built to prevent unauthorized people from accessing the contents.