Joe Farrell

By: Joe Farrell on April 21st, 2014

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Ways that a cash discriminator can improve teller operations

Cash Automation | Branch Transformation



Many financial institutions still implement the use of basic currency counters to help process cash.  There are several problems created with that strategy.  First, if there is a wrong denomination mixed in with a strap it will be counted as a proper denomination therefore putting the teller out of balance or prolonging the out of balance situation.

Secondly, counterfeit note production (crooks) and detection (customers/tellers) continues to be a challenge for most financial institutions.  Cash discriminators continue to update their ability to catch better and better counterfeit notes, therefore reducing FI losses or customer losses.  Lastly, handling of mixed currency deposits is drastically slowed down by the use of basic counters.  Tellers must hand sort currency to then run it through the counter, making hand counting often times faster than using a basic counter.

How does a cash discriminator solve those problems?

One of the primary reasons financial institutions implement cash discriminators is strap integrity.  A two-pocket discriminator is typically set to read the first bill of a stack as the denomination it’s supposed to be counting and will reject any bill that doesn’t match that denomination.  This allows the teller to confirm if she is counting a full strap or 100 bills, that all 100 bills are of the denomination they believe they are counting.  This mode can also be very useful when trying to count a drawer down and find an out of balance situation.  Many times during the day money can accidentally get mixed in the drawer bins, and by running that money through a basic counter, it makes it very difficult to find that mixed bill.


See the Impact of Cash Recyclers


Commercial deposits provide their own sets of challenges that the discriminator can help conquer.  Since there are a variety of ways customers deliver deposits such as night drop and over the counter, determining the best time and means of processing that currency can be challenging.  The deposits can come in sorted by denomination, banded off in total value but have mixed bills or lastly just a bag of mixed cash with no organization.  The cash discriminator can help handle all of these types dramatically faster.  The mixed mode allows the teller to run all denominations at once, get a total by denomination and key that information into the teller system and complete the transaction.  In addition to just the machine, the process can be further improved by adding a printer or even integrating the counter to the teller system.


Most tellers will face and orient all bills for teller transfer, vault transfer or sending to FED.  The two pocket discriminator has modes that will allow the machine to face the money for the teller for faster organization of the cash.


Ultimately, the discriminator is the first level of cash automation.  This product solves a lot of cash handling needs that happen on the teller line for a fraction of the cost of technologies like cash recyclers.  If you are still implementing basic counters, you should strongly consider changing to discriminators to dramatically improve efficiency and productivity in your teller line.

About Joe Farrell

Joe Farrell graduated from Florida State University with Majors in Finance and Marketing. Joe interviewed and accepted a position with Xerox and started his sales training immediately. Joe was moved to Savannah Georgia where he became the ASR of the Region. July of 1972 Joe interviewed with EJ Quirk, then President of Brandt Inc in Watertown, Wisconsin, and at the age of 22 became the youngest Sales Rep hired by Brandt at that time. Joe began his career with Brandt in Orlando Florida and later moved to Fort Lauderdale to assist in running the operation for the State of Florida and the Bahamas. In 1977 Joe became the youngest District Manager hired by Brandt to manage a newly created territory, the State of Oklahoma. Joe was also the Brandt District Manager of the Year in 1981. Joe also served on a team for the next two years that evaluated OEM opportunities for Brandt. July of 1983, Quality Data Systems, Inc. was incorporated in the State of North Carolina. Joe assumed the role of President and worked with a team of other former Brandt District Managers in a territory that consisted of NC/SC/ETN/VA/DC/MD. In 2004 Joe’s son Sean Farrell joined the QDS team after a brief stint in professional baseball, and the company has grown to where it is today 31+ years later.