What retailers need to know about the new $100 bill

MT. PROSPECT, Ill. — A newly redesigned $100 bill designed to thwart the efforts of counterfeiters is due to hit the market in early October, creating new challenges for retailers.

In recent years, the United States government redesigned multiple banknotes to curb counterfeiting. As Cummins Allison, a leading innovator and provider of coin, currency and check handling solutions, explains, government officials are always looking for ways to stay one step ahead of those trying to forge U.S. currency.

The latest currency designs include more advanced security features that will allow retailers, grocers, businesses and consumers to ensure their bills are legitimate and avoid the problems associated with counterfeit notes. A 3-D security ribbon features bells that change to read "100s" when moved back and forth. This ribbon, which is woven into the currency, rather than printed on it, is one of the first things workers at retail and grocery businesses should look for when checking the validity of a bill. Similarly, the redesigned $100 bill also features a bell inside an inkwell, and when the bill is tilted, this bell changes from copper to green.

Besides innovations that allow people to determine the validity of a bill by looking at it from multiple angles, the new currency also offers a variety of other security options that are difficult to forge. A portrait watermark, raised printing, security thread and microprinting all offer banks and businesses alternative ways to determine if a note is valid.

While the U.S. government has attempted to thwart groups that counterfeit American money, they can never completely deter those who are determined to accurately fake U.S. currency. Criminal organizations are still trying to find ways to forge bills by taking advantage of consumers' lack of knowledge of the new banknote security components or trying out new methods to fake these anti-forgery features.

It's important for retailers, grocers and businesses that handle a great deal of cash every day to be able to tell the difference between real and cleverly counterfeited bills. However, even knowledgeable individuals can be fooled by an accurately faked note. A currency counting machine with the ability to detect forgeries is essential for an operation that handles cash on a daily basis. Having the right technology on hand can ensure that no counterfeit currency is infiltrating a cash room and being redistributed to customers.

To avoid any operational interruptions, retailers, grocers and businesses should ensure their currency counting equipment is able to process the new $100 bills now — not after the bill is introduced. Cummins Allison JetScan customers can order a Do- It- Yourself kit via the Web to upgrade their JetScan one-and two-pocket currency counting machines.

Cummins Allison serves the majority of financial institutions worldwide, as well as leading organizations in retail, casinos, law enforcement and government. The company has an extensive sales and service network with more than 50 offices in North America and is represented in more than 70 countries.