In the United States' biggest financial regions, hundreds of thousands dollars of counterfeit currency are confiscated on a weekly basis. When we are talking about counterfeit currency, what we are referring to is not something that you can print at home, but a high-level artistic formation of Federal Reserve notes. Bills that are so hard to detect to the common person that are often not even picked up in the banks. Detection of counterfeit money remains a daunting task for deposit-taking businesses with the emergence of fake currency on the rise. Fortunately, advanced technology has led to the production of revolutionary counterfeit detectors in a bid to mitigate the far-reaching consequences. For booming businesses and small ones alike, money counters are essential devices.
The most common counterfeit detecting mechanisms available in bill counters are:
1. Ultraviolet Detection (UV)
Many paper currencies integrate ultraviolet ink with fluorescent phosphors in their printing process. This serves as a security feature for bills with their manipulation being difficult to achieve. The small element plays a very critical role in detecting counterfeit money. Ultraviolet (UV) ink is invisible in daylight but can be detected by UV light at an exact wavelength of 365 nanometers. Its incorporation in bill counters is through a bulb that emits UV light. For genuine notes, the UV will glow, effectively getting rid of counterfeit currency. This security feature is highly valued because the materials in the fake notes are highly volatile and get corrupted easily when counterfeiters use commercially available ink and printers.
The security thread on the different denominations will glow under ultraviolet light in the following colors:
• $5 - blue
• $10 - orange
• $20 - green
• $50 - yellow
• $100 - red/pink
2. Infrared Sensors (IR)
Money counters use infrared detection sensors to look out for IR ink on bills which are currently extremely difficult if not impossible for counterfeiters to replicate. Genuine currencies are then identified based on their ability to either absorb or reflect infrared. This method proves to be effective due to the lessened chances of note replication that can pass infrared detection.
3. Magnetic Detection (MG)
Another popular method that can be employed in detecting counterfeit money is magnetic detection (MG). Most nations use ink that contains iron oxide which can be magnetized. Bill counters with MG detection checks the magnetic properties in each bill by scanning iron present in ink. The magnetic signatures differ with a given bill and money counters monitor the properties based on the denomination. If the magnetic properties in the ink are not detected the money counter will raise an alert and flags it as a counterfeit bill
4. Metal Thread Detector (MT)
Metallic threads are waved into the notes in specific sizes and locations. In the Federal Reserve notes the thread is a thin imbedded strip running from top to bottom on the face of a banknote. In the $5, $20, and $100 bills it is located left to the portrait and, in the $10 and $50 bills, the security strip is located to the right. Authentic notes contain microprinting in the security thread as an additional layer of security. The detector checks certain metallic components in the bank notes that are subjected to money counters. Suspicious bills without the given metallic components are then flagged for inspection.
5. Thickness (DB) and Size (DD)
The timeless technique for many money counters is their ability to detect money based on their size, width, and thickness; called Double Bill (DB) and Double Dimension (DD) detectors. Each denomination of a note comes with the exact same width, length, and thickness. Advanced Money counters can verify dimensions down to 1/250 of an inch.
6. Contact Image Sensor - (CIS)
Cutting edge money counters like the DETECK Edge DT800 come with contact image sensors. It's not really a counterfeit detection method, it is more like a bill recognition feature. All modern dollars printed by the federal reserve contain a 10 digit or 11 digit serial number to make each bill unique. The small flatbed sensor takes the form of a scanner and reads the serial numbers and denominations of the bills. After the count, the full detailed list of all the scanned serial numbers and a breakdown by denomination can be viewed and printed. These are useful for financial records or to provide an audit trail.
There is no doubt that businesses handling money are susceptible to counterfeit currencies. The use of bill counters with any of the aforementioned methods will effectively reduce the chances of losses from counterfeit currencies.