What Is a Banknote Counter?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 January 2020
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Also known as a cash counter or bill counter, a banknote counter is an electronic device that is capable of sorting and counting currency notes in a fraction of the time it would take to manually count and sort the notes. Banks and businesses will often make use of this type of device to sort the notes into batches as a means of tracking the amount of currency on hand. There are several banknote counter designs that also help to identify notes that are damaged as well as counterfeit notes.

A basic banknote counter is structured to quickly scan and provide a tally of not only the number of bills processed in a batch, but also the monetary value of those notes. The loose notes are placed into a slot then drawn into the device. Each of the notes are scanned and verified, providing the user with the total number of bills processed as well as the total value. This can make counting money at the close of the business day much easier.


More robust examples of the banknote counter include features such as the ability to sort the notes by denomination. With this type of feature, it is possible to insert a collection of notes, have the device sort them into several different batches by denomination and provide a quick accounting of each of those batches. It is not unusual for counters equipped with a sorting function to also have what is known as a band option, making it possible to apply a band to each of the batches once the operation is complete.

One key feature offered with banknote counter designs used by financial institutions is the counterfeit detector. Some models can be programmed to recognize several different currencies and distinguish between legal tender and counterfeit copies. This type of feature is especially helpful for businesses and institutions that accept notes issued by multiple nations, and helps to reduce the incidence of fraud.

The cost of a banknote counter will depend on the range of features desired. A basic unit that simply counts and sorts currency is relatively inexpensive and may be ideal for small business owners who need a quick way to sort and tally the daily proceeds from the operation. More robust models that are capable of counting, sorting, and validating notes are usually a better fit for banks and similar institutions, since they are capable of handling larger volumes of notes than the basic designs and also offer the ability to protect the institution from being victimized by counterfeiters.


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