How Does a Bill Counter Work

Before we can discuss the working process of a bill counter machine, let’s first define it. A bill counter, also referred to as a banknote or cash counter, is a device that can electronically count and sort currency notes in the shortest time possible.

Other designs go the extra mile to identify damaged or fake notes. Below is a discussion on how a bill counter works.

Bill Counter
Bill Counter

Bill Counter Working Process

Let us dive into details on how a bill counter works to save time and money for banks and businesses. Let’s look into the step-by-step process.

Step 1: Turning On the Bill Counter Machine

Just like every other electronic device, a bill counter comes with a power cable that needs to be connected to a power source. After connecting the machine to the power source, ensure you turn on the power switch at the back of the machine. Once the machine is on, a self-diagnosis process takes place and when the machine is ready for counting it displays a “0” on the screen.

Step 2: Placing the Loose Bundle of Notes on the Hopper

Before you place the bills or notes on the hopper check your bundle to remove washed, mended, dirty or broken notes. This will prevent wrong detection. Also, be keen when placing the notes on the hopper; put them neatly and in order. When you place money on the hopper, you will know if the machine is working if the notes are sucked in one by one.

Step 3: Counting Process

The moment you place banknotes on the hopper, the machine automatically counts the notes and the number of notes will be displayed on the machine screen. From there you can be able to tell amount of money your bundle contains. The counting process is done by the optical sensor within the machine.

Step 4: Detecting Counterfeit Notes

A motor within the machine aids the rotation of the machine rollers which move the notes from one sensor to the next.

From the optical sensor, the rollers rotate to move the note to the UV light sensor which determines if the note is original or counterfeit. A counterfeit currency reflects the UV light while a banknote does not.

Step 5: Detecting Serial Number

At this stage, the motor-driven rollers will again rotate and move the banknotes to the visible light sensor which detects the currency’s serial number.

Step 6: Detecting Double Banknotes

The next step is to check if the notes are double. It is normal when two banknotes stick together and won’t separate during the counting process. The infrared light sensor provides the function to detect double note and sends a signal to the machine screen.

Step 7: Detecting the Magnetic Material

The second last sensor is the magnetic sensor which is used to detect and analyze the magnetic properties of the magnetic material in the banknote. Finally, a thickness sensor shows if the currency notes have the right and original measure of thickness.

Counter Bill Parts
Counter Bill Parts

Step 8: Moving Out the Notes

After passing through each sensor, the banknotes move out of the machine aided by the roller rods propelled by the motor system. The notes move out of the machine one by one at a high and steady speed. If you have observed how an ATM machine works, that’s the same speed applied by the bill counter machines when counting and detecting banknotes.

Note that the parameters of the banknotes being counted through a bill counter are compared to the original signal parameters in place. This comparison allows the machine to detect any variations and sends signals to the display.


Knowing how a bill counter works and how to operate it may be easy. However, you also need to know how much time and money you can save through this machine. A bill counter is of great benefit to both businesses and banks because they are fast and most designs can detect both counterfeit and damaged notes.

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