Customers often ask us a variety of questions about money counters and which ones we feel would be the best one for their business. The answer is a little complex, as it’s not necessarily that one currency counter is any better than another for specific industries, it is based upon what your needs are.
To start with, there are three basic types of currency counters: Piece counters, value counters and discriminators.
These are the simplest form of currency counters that you can buy, and often the least expensive. Piece counters count exactly that... how many bills, or "pieces" of an item that you put in. It does not differentiate between denominations and in the end, simply gives you the number of items that you put into the machine. This works well if you have already separated your currency into denominations and plan to count each stack separately. Use the machine to count your bills and multiply that by the denomination and you have your currency count. View All Piece Counters
Value counters are the next step up from a piece counter, and much like piece counters, they only physically count the number of bills that you insert into the machine. In this case, though, you can enter the bill value and the machine will use that value and the count to provide you with a currency value. You can think of a Value Counter as a Piece Counter with a build in calculator. View All Value Counters
Discriminators are almost always more expensive than piece counters and value counters, because discriminators are far more technologically advanced and do a lot more work for you. A discriminator can be handed a stack of bills with mixed denominations and it will scan each bill and determine its dollar value. In the end, the discriminator will give you bill count totals and dollar totals for each denomination, as well as totals for the entire batch. View All Currency Discriminators
Discriminators also include counterfeit detection features. When it comes to counterfeit detection, there are two basic approaches: Ultraviolet (or UV), which looks at the paper quality, and magnetic, which looks for the proprietary magnetic ink. Magnetic counterfeit detectors are typically more expensive than UV, but they are also employ a more reliable technique. You can find piece and value counters that have counterfeit detection technology of both types integrated into them, however, the ultimate counterfeit detection machine is the discriminator. If you’re really looking for powerful features like counterfeit bill detection, you will want to heavily consider a discriminator.
If you have a high volume of cash handling in your institution, such as tellers or cashiers, you may want to consider one piece or value counter for each cash handler’s station, and a single discriminator for general use.
In short, not only do you get what you pay for when it comes to quality; that also rings true when it comes to speed. If you’re looking for speed, a discriminator is going to be your best bet. More advanced models will often include settings where you can disable counterfeit detection, which can speed up counting, if you really need to count a batch quickly. Not only that, but a discriminator can save you a lot of time since you don’t have to sort your bills before you put them in the counter.
We only carry only brands that we have identified as high quality and reliable, so any brand that you find on our site is a good brand. However, from our experience, we feel that Semacon is the best brand, because of their guaranteed replacement plan. If something goes wrong with the machine during the first year and we cant solve the problem for you over the phone, Semacon allows us to simply replace the machine for you. Most other manufacturers only offer repair services, and that can leave you down a machine for the duration of the repair.
Currency counters and discriminators are pretty rugged and require very little maintenance. Most of that maintenance is fairly minor, as well. Since counters deal with paper, which is essentially made of fiber, the biggest job is simply blowing them out with compressed air once in a while so fiber particles are not in there hindering the counting process. Occasionally money counters will also benefit from having their rollers cleaned. We do offer some ridged cleaning pads for this purpose, but some people just clean the rollers with a little alcohol on a q-tip.
We are happy to answer any other questions that you might have about money counter and help you select the best machine for your business. Just reach out to our customer service center at 1-805-218-6106.