Overview about security features

CIS - Color Image Sensor
There are two different types of Color Image Sensors. Simple sensors, sometimes only a few millimeters in size, determine the color value of a banknote. This method is often used in combination with other testing methods for verification. But there are also cheap banknote counters that use solely such sensors for their valuation method.

High-quality banknote counters, mostly so-called “2 Pocket Counters”, use the more advanced full-size CIS sensors where an image scan of the banknote is made. This procedure allows also counting the USD value-wise, to recognize the front or reverse side of the note, among other functions.

CS - Color Sensor
The color sensors are a simplified form of the CIS sensor. Here, only the color of the banknote is verified and compared with the recognized value.

COL - Color Detection

Please see “CIS - Color Image Sensor”

FL - Fluorescence
Fluorescent areas of the banknotes, which can be detected by special sensors

IMG - Image Check
Please see “CIS - Color Image Sensor”

IR - Infrared
Infrared ink is not visible to the human eye. It is only detectable with Counterfeit Detection Devices that employ infrared light and special sensors. Many currencies use infrared ink printing as security feature, among them Euro banknotes. In some currencies even infrared ink with various wave lengths are used.

IR-R - Infrared Reflexion
The infrared reflection measurement method is a special method of measurement that allows detecting infrared (IR) colour on a banknote.

IR-T - Infrared Thickness
IR sensors can also validate the thickness of the banknote’s paper. By checking the translucency of the paper, the device can recognize if, for example, two banknotes are simultaneously passing the sensor.

MG - Magnet Color
In banknotes of the Euro and other currencies, partly ink is used that has pigments with magnetic properties; these can be detected with specific sensors. While in some currencies magnetic ink is only used for printing the (mostly black) serial numbers, others have entire magnetic areas that contain magnetic fields. The magnetic pigments are similar to the ones for coating of magnetic tapes.

MT - Metal Thread Code
The MT-code is a kind of magnetic bar code (EAN-code) that is applied onto the security thread of a banknote. The MT-code is a very effective security feature. It is used for a variety of checks. Some devices, mostly counterfeit detectors, check the magnetic property of the metal thread and its incorporated MT-code. Other devices, such as banknote counting machines, are partially able to read the MT-code, thereby determining the value of a banknote.

PAP - Paper Composition
A large number of counterfeit banknotes are printed on regular paper instead of the specially formulated cotton-based paper. Chemical test pens react to starch contained in paper. The ink marked on a bill turns dark brown/black if the paper is not made from cotton, indicating that the banknote is most certainly a forgery. However, counterfeiters can prevent recognition with chemical pens by treating the notes with hairspray.

SD - Size Detection
In addition to reading the metal thread code of a banknote (see “MT”), the method of size evaluation is another way to assess the value of a banknote. In the case of the Euro, the notes have a different length depending on its denominational value.

This method is used mostly in electronic counterfeit detection devices to determine denominations. SD (size detection) is still used today in electronic banknote counting devices, but in many cases has been replaced with other methods, either CIS or MT-Code.

SPA- Spectral Analysis
The European Central Bank only knows detailed information about this security feature. According to their statement – it is an effective way to distinguish counterfeit banknotes from genuine banknotes. Only a few detector and counting devices use this feature to detect counterfeit money.

TH - Thickness
Please see “IR-T - Infrared Thickness”

UV - Ultraviolet
Ink containing fluorescent pigments lights up under a UV tester. The appearing fluorescent color is different from the color that is visible to the eye. This detection method in most cases is not sufficient as sole authenticity check and is therefore often used in combination with other methods.

WL - White light
Some UV lamps are also equipped with a white-light detection. When placed over the white light source, the watermark and the security thread in the banknote become visible. Also the see-through register can be checked.

WM - Watermark Detection
Watermarks are positioned in the light, blank area of a banknote. They become visible when holding the bill up to the light. When using a UV lamp detection device, the watermark becomes visible when the note is placed over the white light source.

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