In 2016, the Bank of England discovered a total of 347,000 counterfeit notes at a value of £7.47 million (ouch). The largest proportion of this fake money came from £20 notes.
Since the introduction late last year, polymer £5 and £10 notes have instantly become our norm. Whether you’re embracing or being reluctant about the big change, the new style is a huge step forward when it comes to reducing counterfeiting. However, while the change has successfully lowered counterfeiting opportunities by introducing new materials, criminals are now focusing on the existing £20 notes.
Luckily enough for businesses, technology and products are available to safeguard profits from pilferers. Safescan is one of the leading names providing secure detection solutions against counterfeiting. In this blog, we talk you through what you can do – and use - to stay ahead of the counterfeiters and protect your business.
Back to basics
The starting point for counterfeit detection is the Safescan 30 detection pen. The pen reacts to the presence of starch in the fake paper notes, which in then turns the ink black. Genuine £20 notes are created with cotton (which does not contain starch) – no starch, no black line!
While detection pens are useful for basic levels of forged currency detection, counterfeiters are working hard to improve fakes, especially as their currency copying options are becoming increasingly limited.
Next level protection
In recent months counterfeiters have improved the way in which they forge the classic £20 notes. One of ways they do this is by coating fake notes with lacquer, limiting the amount of ink able to penetrate the starch of the paper.
Here’s a hypothetical but very possible situation: if your detection pens are unable to stain notes as they should as a result of this lacquer coating, forged currency could not only find its way into your business, but could also be passed on to your customers. With banks taking further steps to control forged currency, you and your customers could be turned away from the banks, which not only is bad for your customer but also reflects poorly on your business.
So how can you avoid situations like this? Safescan recommends more reliable detection methods such as UV lamps (you could try the Safescan 50 or 70) or automatic detection devices (like the Safescan 155-S). These devices are designed to look for numerous security features within the notes to maximise the chance of identifying counterfeits. Automation detection devices do exactly what they say on the tin by showing which notes are genuine and which are fake 100% of the time.
If you think these measures sound unnecessary, just ask yourself how much just one fake £20 note could cost your business and your reputation.
For more information on our full range of Safescan products and how they can protect your business, just get in touch with us on 0845 345 0061 or send us an email at email@example.com.