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Count-by-weight cash counting machines outweigh friction counters

29 Sep 2017 Blog
Nick van Noorden

Nick van Noorden Tellermate

Count-by-weight cash counting machines have come a long way since their introduction nearly 40 years ago.

Flashback to 1979: After standing in line at the bank one day, Edgar Biss and other patrons patiently waited while the teller counted a pile of bills, lost count, and started over. As time ticked by and the line didn’t budge, Edgar thought, “There has to be a better, faster, more accurate way to count cash.” An engineer by trade, Edgar created the first count-by-weight cash counting machine – the Tellermate.

Fast forward to today: Cash counting machines are used worldwide in banks, convenience stores, casinos, quick-service restaurants, retail establishments, and other companies searching for ways to drive efficiency. Money scales reduce user error and improve accuracy. They calculate cash quickly and efficiently. They also drive adherence to process and free up employees’ time by streamlining a laborious procedure.

The two most-popular types are count-by-weight devices and friction counters. We’ll get back to friction counters later, but first, let’s touch upon count-by-weight machines.

count-by-weight cash counterHow do count-by-weight machines work?

Count-by-weight machines use a set of rules to count coins and batches of bills. Cash is stacked on a cash-counting machine in bundles, rolls, cups or bags and is counted in seconds. The electronic device tracks each denomination to create a complete count of a cash drawer – in less than 60 seconds.

Rather than weigh individual bills or coins, the cash-counting machine assesses cash in batches and compares them against a stored average weight for each coin or bill, which it constantly updates. These intelligent cash counters know when one bill or coin is removed and adapt accordingly. Count-by-weight machines also adjust to variations that occur over time and still provide accurate counts. You see, a torn banknote weighs less than normal; while a bill covered with oil, dirt or humidity, is heavier. The device learns as it counts and makes adjustments to reflect weight differences. It’s that smart.

The benefits of count-by-weight devices

Rack Room Shoes, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Schnucks, T-Mobile, Panda Express, and Adidas are just a few of the thousands of companies who’ve invested in count-by-weight machines. Why? Because they recognized the need to automate manual processes; and also know that count-by-weight cash counters have many key features benefits. These cash counters are:

  • Fast and accurate – Tellermate cash counters have a 99.9% accuracy rate
  • Able to work with cash or coins in 20-plus currencies
  • Electric and battery-operated so are portable – and light-weight
  • No moving parts, so they’re whisper-quiet & virtually free or service issues
  • Customizable to meet client-specific needs
  • Wi-Fi enabled, allowing quick transmission of data
  • Seamlessly able to integrate with back-office software and from one location to the next

Their ability to create cash audit trails helps deter theft and pinpoints when and where cash goes missing. Count-by-weight devices decrease cash-related stress staff members could encounter, such as time spent cashing up, shortfalls or other cash-related discrepancies. Count-by-weight machines also reduce loss at point of sale, so pay for themselves in just a matter of months.

In fact, an American retail clothing chain recently invested in Tellermate T-ix cash counters. With both time savings and a reduction in cash loss, the initial return on investment (ROI) took less than five months. Now that’s an investment worth making.

Friction counters: another money-counting option

Back to friction counters: They also count cash, as long as it’s a banknote. And they’re fast. But they don’t count coins, which is the most time-consuming chore in the cash-counting process. So, when a business opts for a friction counter, they either invest in a coin counter too, or count coins by hand. There goes efficiency.

Friction counters use many noisy, moving, mechanical parts that are prone to wear and tear – meaning they require costly maintenance repairs and are out of service when this happens. Plus, they are bulky and heavy – at least three to four times heavier than count-by-weight devices.

Friction devices have a tough time counting damp and soiled bills as well as new polymer notes that tend to stick together. Which could lead to miscounts and inaccuracies. Employees working with them have been known to complain about the dust they kick up & circulate, and the racket they make.

Still, some companies opt for friction counters but later switch to weight-based cash counters once they understand their advantages. But which money counter is right for you?

Choosing the right cash counting machine for your needs

Tellermate T-ix cash counting machines and intelligent cash drawers can help you transform your retail environment by automating manual tasks and reducing time spent reconciling cash drawers and even reducing cash loss. More efficiency means greater profits. It means employees can spend more time on the shop floor with customers: earning their confidence, helping with decisions, and making more sales.

For a more thorough understanding of how count-by-weight technology works and how it could benefit your business, download the Ebook, The Insider Guide to Counting Cash by Weight.

Count cash by weight

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