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Do you need a cash discriminator or will a basic currency counter meet your needs? This is a common question asked by clients in various industries, including banks, credit unions, and cash counting companies. The goal is to count cash quickly and accurately and prepare deposits for the bank. In this article, we will explore the differences between basic currency counters and multi-pocket cash discriminators.

What is a Basic Currency Counter?

A basic currency counter is a machine that counts bills quickly and accurately. It can be set to count bills in batches or continuous mode, making it a simple tool to use. Basic currency counters can also detect counterfeit bills, but their methods are limited and not as accurate as those used in advanced currency discriminators. Basic currency counters are generally more affordable than advanced currency discriminators, making them a popular choice for small businesses.

What is a Multi-Pocket Cash Discriminator?

A multi-pocket cash discriminator, also known as a mixed money counter and sorter, is a more sophisticated machine that not only counts bills but also sorts and identifies different denominations, orientations, and versions of bills. Multi-pocket cash discriminators use advanced counterfeit detection methods, such as ultraviolet and magnetic sensors, to ensure the accuracy of the count and to identify counterfeit bills. They are also more efficient than basic currency counters, with the ability to count up to 1,200 bills per minute.

Different Types of Multi-Pocket Currency Sorters

One-pocket currency sorter machine

This type of currency discriminator can only detect unwanted banknotes and is not used for sorting purposes. It can significantly decrease work efficiency because the machine stops when it detects an unwanted banknote, and the banknote has to be removed by hand.

Two-pocket currency sorter machine

This type of currency discriminator can keep counting banknotes because it can send damaged or unwanted banknotes to the reject pocket.

Three-pocket currency sorter machine

With an additional stacker pocket, this type of currency discriminator can separate banknotes into two categories at a time. It can do everything a two-pocket machine can do.

Five-pocket money sorter machine

With additional pockets, this type of currency discriminator can separate banknotes into four categories at a time. It can separate denominations up to four at a time, and up to eight denominations in two operations. It can also do face/orientation sorting and non-stop fitness sorting.

The Differences Between Basic Currency Counters and Multi-Pocket Cash Discriminators

The differences between basic currency counters and advanced currency discriminators are as follows:

  • Price: Basic currency counters have relatively low entry-level prices ranging from $300 to $1,000, while cash discriminators are higher priced, ranging from $1,750 to $3,195.
  • Counting speed: Basic currency counters have a relatively low speed, while money sorter machines are relatively fast at 1200 notes per minute.
  • Reject pockets: Two-pocket machines allow for continuous currency processing while off-sorting questionable bills into the second pocket, increasing your money handling efficiency by 50%. In contrast, 1-pocket money counters will stop counting or sorting when a counterfeit or worn bill is detected, and the user needs to remove the bill manually to continue counting or sorting.
  • Sorting capabilities: Currency discriminators can sort and identify different denominations, orientations, and versions of bills using various sorting methods, including:
    1. Sort on Currency: Sort a stack of mixed currencies into bundles of USD, EURO, CAD, MXN, etc.
    2. Sort on Bill Denomination: Sort a stack of mixed denominations into bundles of 100, 50, 20, 10, etc.
    3. Sorts by Face & Orientations: Helps the bank cashier, credit union to sort the bills into same face and orientation.
    4. Sort by Bill version: For example, separate a 2013-issue USD100 bill from a 1996-issue USD100 bill.
    5. Sort out Excessively Worn and Counterfeit Bills: The excessively worn and counterfeit bills will go to the reject pocket.
  • Counterfeit detection: Currency discriminators have more powerful counterfeit detection capabilities as a standard feature, accomplished using infrared (IR), ultraviolet (UV), magnetic (MG), and other security features, including 2CIS, UV, IR, MT, MG, Dimensional and Thickness, Security Line Variable ink, Spectrum, Fluorescence, Serial Number Recognition Detection. Basic currency counters, on the other hand, only have a few counterfeit detections and may give false suspect counterfeit bills if not adjusted properly or may miss them altogether.
  • Portability: Currency sorter machines are taller and heavier and may not be as portable as basic money counters.
  • Counting modes: Advanced currency discriminators offer various counting modes, including mixed denomination counting, sorting, add, batch, add & batch, auto/manual counting, and print. Basic currency counters are limited in their counting and sorting capabilities.
  • Hopper capacity: Currency discriminators have an extra-large hopper that can hold up to 500 bills at once, which is much larger than basic money counters. 
  • Ability to identify multiple currencies:  Money discriminators support multi-currency value counting of 12 currencies, including USD, EURO, CAD, MXN, and more. In contrast, basic money counters only support counting around 4 currencies at one time, making currency sorters more ideal for international businesses that handle multiple currencies.

Where to Buy a Reliable and Efficient Multi-pocket Currency Discriminator for your Business?

Looking for a reliable and efficient multi-pocket currency discriminator for your business? Look no further than the Ribao BCS160 2 pocket money sorter! This cutting-edge machine is designed to accurately count and sort up to 1,000 bills per minute, making it perfect for high-volume cash handling environments. But what sets the BCS160 apart from other currency discriminators on the market? For starters, it uses advanced sensors and imaging technology to quickly and accurately identify and authenticate bills, including detecting counterfeit currency. Plus, it features an easy-to-use interface and a compact design that makes it easy to set up and use in any workspace. Don't settle for outdated cash handling methods - upgrade to the Ribao BCS160 and experience the difference for yourself!


When it comes to choosing between a basic currency counter and a multi-pocket cash discriminator, it all boils down to your business's unique needs and budget.

If you're a small business looking for an affordable and simple machine to count cash quickly and accurately, a basic currency counter might be the right choice for you. They're easy to use and can detect counterfeit bills, but they have limited counting and sorting capabilities.

On the other hand, if your business handles multiple currencies or needs a more sophisticated machine that can not only count but also sort and identify different denominations, orientations, and versions of bills, a multi-pocket cash discriminator might be the way to go. They have advanced counterfeit detection capabilities and are more efficient, with the ability to count up to 1200 bills per minute.

So, whether you're a small business owner or a large corporation, take a closer look at your cash handling needs and choose the money counter machine that best fits those needs. After all, investing in the right machine can save you time, money, and headaches down the road.

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