How Do Currency Counters Work?

Automatic Electric Currency CountersCurrency counters, sometimes called bill counters and money counters, are used by banks, retail stores and other organizations to count banknotes. These machines are designed to be extremely accurate. So how does a currency counter actually work? Here are a few details that may help answer that question.

To begin with, all currency counters have a special hopper where bills are placed. The amount of bills that can be placed in the hopper vary. As a general rule, a bill counter can usually accept about half the used bills as it can new bills. If your machine can accept 100 new bills, it will usually accept about 50 used bills.

Most bill counters use some sort wheel or roller to pull money into the machine. The bill counters I have used utilize a rubber wheel that has special groves on it, making it easier to pull the bills in without jamming. Some bill counters require fanning of the bills before they are placed into the machine.

As the bills are pulled into the currency counter, special fanning wheels separate the bills. These fanning wheels look a lot like a circular plastic claw. As these bills are run through the machine, the pass in front of an optical sensor that detects the edge of the bill. As each bill runs past this sensor, it is counted up and added to a final tally.

The entire counting process, from start to finish, takes just milliseconds. Many currency counters can count on average 1,000+ bills per second.

Currency Counters with Ultraviolet and Magnetic Counterfeit DetectionAdditional Features

Some currency counters are now available with optional counterfeit bill detection. This is done by implementing magnetic ink detection (MG) and ultraviolet bill scanning (UV) properties. Both of these technologies catch most counterfeit bills. Currency counters with counterfeit bill scanning technology with utilize MG scanning, UV scanning or both.

Many currency counters now offer the option of batch counting. This means you can tell the machine that you want it to count 10 bills and then stop. This may be for organizational or storage reasons. Once the counter has counted 10 bills, you remove the stack and it begins counting again. The batch amount can be changed by the operator.

Many people don’t realize this, but most currency counters can be used to also count coupons, tickets and other paper. Just be sure the material you are counting fits within the bill counter’s size specifications.

Many customers ask me if currency counters will sort bills or provide the monetary value of the bills counted. The majority of currency counters do not provide you with the value of the money counted. They typically give you the total number of bills counted. If you need a machine that sorts and provides a dollar value of the money counted, you will need a currency discriminator (aka bill discriminator).

You can find our entire selection of currency counting machines here. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any currency counter questions.

Keith Barlow

Keith is a third generation office equipment expert. ABC Office was started by his grandfather back in 1980 and he is proud to be caring on the values that made ABC Office what it is today… unsurpassed selection, detailed information, low prices, and courteous support.

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