Currency counterfeiting is an age-old problem. The advent of cash-based transaction technologies has led criminals to create fake bills and coins designed specifically to trick bill-changing machines. Though a perfect solution to counterfeiting has never been found, business owners need smart machines that can effectively outwit counterfeiters by detecting even the most convincing counterfeit bills and coins. Standard Change-Makers, Inc. designs and manufactures change machines and bill exchange machines that incorporate advanced technologies of bill acceptors made by MEI Global (Mars), Currency Acceptors (Coinco), Cashcode and Pyramid Technologies to identify and reject counterfeit currency. Designed for machines manufactured by Standard Change-Makers – these bill validating devices can help business owners prevent criminals from targeting their cash-based businesses.

Counterfeit bills are a problem for the United States and for the global economy. According to the United States Federal Reserve, over half of all U.S. currency is held abroad because it is a safe store of value. Widespread international use of the U.S. dollar makes it a prime target for counterfeiters. CNN Money reported in 2007 that the number of counterfeit bills in circulation had risen by ten percent in 2006. They attributed this large increase in counterfeiting to technological advances that made it easier for counterfeiters to create highly deceptive fake currency designed to outwit humans and machines.

As a result, bill acceptance devices must use multiple strategies to identify counterfeit currency. There are several features of currency change machines that allow them to distinguish between real and fake money. A bill acceptor may use a cluster of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) to shine light onto bills when they are inserted. An optical sensor can then determine the denomination of the bill and assess whether it is counterfeit by comparing the pattern of light reflected by the bill to stored patterns. Other properties of bills such as their conductivity, fluorescence, and magnetic properties can also be used to differentiate between real and fake tender.

Optical sensors cannot be used to read coins, so machines take advantage of other aspects of coins such as their weight, diameter, and electromagnetic properties to remove fakes. A coin must pass through many checkpoints before being accepted by a machine. First, its weight is checked by a set of balance arms. Next, the coin must pass through a slot which checks diameter. Coins that are too narrow fall through an exit channel. A powerful magnet is then passed over the coin, and if the coin is too rich in iron the magnet will remove and reject it. Finally, the coin must pass through the remainder of the slot at a specific speed or it will be halted by a rejection pin. The designers and developers of Standard Change-Makers machines employ all of these strategies to ensure that the businesses they serve are better protected from counterfeit attempts.

Standard engineers have also incorporated a software feature to assist in minimizing  loses for business owners. Called “Fast Vend Shut-Off” – this feature detects when the same denomination bill is inserted multiple times over a pre-determined period of time. In such a case, the machine believes it is being “strung” (a technique that criminals use to insert a bill and pull it back out quickly after the VEND signal is sent to the controller), and shuts the machine down for a certain period of time. Then the change machine resets itself and starts back up – assuming that the criminal has moved on.

Counterfeit currency is a real problem for business owners. Well-designed, smart machines are critical in helping stop criminals from stealing from businesses that rely on cash exchanges. Standard Change-Makers machines are equipped with state-of-the-art features that help prevent counterfeiters, while allowing smooth cash-based transactions for customers. To stop counterfeit money from impacting your business, choose Standard Change-Makers, Inc.