Check Note: world-first counterfeit note detection created by Wangara repair workshop manager

The Check Note device, created by Sam Vote from North Perth, sits on top of the cash register drawer.
The Check Note device, created by Sam Vote from North Perth, sits on top of the cash register drawer.

A LOCAL repair workshop manager turned entrepreneur has used “tried and tested” technology to create a world-first device used to detect counterfeit notes.

While working at TriniTEQ in Wangara, Sam Vote developed the Check Note device which uses ultraviolet (UV) light to detect fake money as placed in the till.

The 24-year-old said he designed the device to sit on top of a cash register drawer to replace a clunkier version typically used by companies.

“One of the products used by companies is a UV light that sits on top of a shelf or desk and reflects light if a fake note is placed underneath it,” he said.

“The Check Note does the same thing but it’s small and sits on the cash register drawer itself, detecting counterfeit notes as they’re put inside, alerting the cashier to the fraudulent transaction.”

The one-of-a-kind device is powered by a USB cable which plugs into any point of sale terminal or standard USB charger, instead of using a power point which the table-top device needs.

Mr Vote, who came up with the idea while watching a documentary on counterfeit notes, was shocked that no one else had developed a more slimline and inconspicuous device like the Check Note.

The brainchild from North Perth launched the device in December with stock now available at his former workplace TriniTEQ, a point of sale company providing products and services to the hospitality and retail industries.

Mr Vote worked to develop Check Note for a year while working at TriniTEQ with his father, an electrical engineer who helped with the design.

“We haven’t reinvented the wheel here, we’re taking a technology that’s tried and tested and we’re optimising it and integrating it into the point of sale industry so it’s easy for a cashier to detect,” he said.

“If you’re a business owner you have to rely on your transaction-level staff to detect a note and to be diligent enough to confront the customer rather than put it in the drawer and pretend they didn’t see it.

“We’re trying to eliminate that step and put the accountability back into the hands of the clerk and give power back to the employers.”

The device costs $55 and are assembled by Mr Vote, who now has 100 in stock.

Counterfeit notes with a nominal value of more than $1.4 million were detected by the Reserve Bank of Australia in 2016-17.

Wanneroo Police Station officer-in-charge Simon Hazell advised businesses to install devices such as the Check Note.

“Every business should familiarise itself with the security measures on notes to ensure they know what they’re looking for,” he said.

“It’s beneficial to have a device to detect the counterfeit notes but it’s also important to know what they’re looking for.

“Businesses are in their rights to refuse payment if they suspect the note is counterfeit and ask the person to pay by another means.

“I know it’s hard for retail to turn down a sale at these hard times but counterfeit notes are a crime and should be reported.”

For information on how to detect counterfeit notes, visit www.banknotes.rba.gov.au/counterfeit-detection/ and report any fake money to the Federal Police at www.afp.gov.au.

Counterfeit notes detected by the Reserve Bank of Australia in the 2016-17:

– 25,491 fake notes were reported to the RBA;
– Of those, 20,749 were $50 notes with a nominal value of more than $1 million;
– 4302 fake $100 notes with a nominal value of more than $400,000 were reported;
– Only 29 $5 notes were reported to be counterfeit;
– The nominal value of the total counterfeit notes reported was more than $1.4 million.

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