Money Scanner: Review & Recommendations


Welcome to our big money detector Test 2020, where we present you all the money detectors we have tested in detail. We have put together detailed background information for you and also added a summary of the customer reviews on the net.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you to find the best money detector for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page, which you should pay attention to if you want to buy a money detector.

The most important facts in brief

  • Money detectors often offer you a high level of security and effective protection against counterfeit money.
  • They are available in different versions and prices. Test probes are sometimes the cheapest, while digital bill validators with counting function have many additional premium features and are more expensive.
  • With the help of different quality criteria, such as the handling, the duration of the check, the checking methods, the currency variety, the actuality of the software and the price-performance ratio, you can compare money checking devices with each other.

Money Verifier Test: The Ranking

1st place: Safescan 155-S Black – Automatic counterfeit detector

2nd place: Securina24 piece counter money counting machine

3rd place: Safescan 185-S – Automatic banknote validator

Guide: Questions to consider before buying a money detector

For whom is a money detector suitable?

In principle, a money validator is suitable primarily for the commercial sector, such as at checkouts in supermarkets, cafés or other retail outlets.

They are therefore an integral part of the retail industry and are an indispensable security technology for companies that handle cash on a daily basis.

Although banknotes can be checked manually under certain aspects without expensive equipment, you should choose an automatic banknote validator, especially because of the faster checking speeds.

The Bundesbank also recommends checking several security features; in some cases the practical helpers check up to 7 different ones.

They are available in different versions and designs with different functional scope. You should therefore clarify before you buy, what is important to you with a money detector and what different functions you need.

How does a money validator work and what are the test features?

Money detectors are available in very different variants. They can be used either stationary or mobile, depending on your requirements. They are even often available in variants in which battery operation and operation at the socket is possible without any problems.
Furthermore, the devices are relatively small and can be easily operated without a long training period.
But how do these small, inconspicuous devices actually detect counterfeit money? First of all, a banknote has several unique detection features. In addition to magnetic and metallic properties, there are many others that, when combined, reflect the high security factor.

If the banknote is now checked and abnormalities are detected, the money detector directly generates an optical or acoustic warning signal, which serves as an indication that the money is counterfeit.

In the following we will briefly introduce you to the unique features of a banknote:


The banknote has a watermark on both sides, which is always in exactly the same place. It is located in the unprinted part of the banknote and can only be seen against the light.

Security thread

The security thread is a kind of dark line that is completely embedded in the banknote. It is characterised by the fact that it contains the value of the banknote and the word euro.

Intaglio printing

This process makes reliefs visible that can be felt on the banknote. These can be the value numeral or abbreviations of the European Central Bank. Over time, however, the surface may wear out. Recognition and verification becomes increasingly difficult.

Relief refers to the visual and plastic highlighting of the surface of a banknote.

Colour properties and UV characteristics

Various fibres are integrated into the paper of the banknote. The colours blue, green, yellow and red only become visible under ultraviolet light. They are generally difficult to counterfeit.

Which motifs can be seen depends on the respective currency. In the case of euro banknotes, for example, these are small reflective stripes. In addition, yellow stars shine in the EU flag of the note.

Money detectors that work with UV light are usually inexpensive and reliably check these features. However, the verification often takes longer than with electronic devices.

There are digital money detectors that guarantee 100% recognition. However, this is not always necessary, especially since the devices are also quite expensive.

In addition to the features already mentioned, on a banknote you will also find the microprinting, the see-through register, the special foils and the pearlescent symbol. Depending on the currency, properties such as material thickness and infrared reflections are also examined.

These characteristics are checked above all by electronic or digital money checking devices.

The best digital money detectors use several detection methods. Ideally, they check for counterfeit money using 7-fold counterfeit detection methods and ideally have data of important currencies stored on an SD card. They are even available with an integrated LCD display.

Which banknote and note types are checked?

Depending on the purchase price, digital, automatic money checking devices support several, sometimes up to 9 different currencies
Most frequently supported currencies: EUR, USD, GBP, CHF, PLN, SEC, NOK, DKK, HOOF
Banknote validators can be used to validate US dollars, euros (including all new notes) and British pounds
Bill validators with UV light also check identity cards, driving licences & passports

So before you buy, make sure you know which currencies are supported and whether there are software updates for new banknotes.

How much does a money detector cost?

It can be said that the security of a money checking device increases considerably with increasing price. Digital money detectors cost considerably more, run fully automatically and check according to 7-fold counterfeit detection method. They often show you the final result on an LCD display.

Checking several test properties (e.g. infrared, magnetic and metallic properties, pearl luster marks) often makes the difference.

For fast, mobile use or for single samples only, the most expensive devices are not always the most practical. We recommend a mobile testing with a test pen or a mobile money tester with UV tube.

Where can I buy a money detector?

You can buy bill validators in many electronics stores and online.

Unfortunately, the goods are often not available and ready for collection on site. This means that you have to pre-order them online in advance and have them delivered to the branch in your area.

Alternatively, you can order them directly online on Amazon or from the manufacturers and have them delivered to your home.
Most money detectors are currently sold through the following shops:

Media Markt
shepherd’s shop

Can I also borrow a money checking device?

It is possible to borrow a money checking device, but it does not make sense. Cheap UV money detectors can be bought for as little as 20 Euros, good digital money detectors are available for as little as 50 Euros.
Various providers, for example on eBay, charge for use:

This is the rent of a Safescan-155, which costs approximately 100€ new. If you were to borrow the device, the owner would have paid for it in full in two months.

Decision: What types of money detectors are there and which one is right for you?

We basically distinguish between these types of balloon bottles:

  • Bill validator with black light lamps / UV light
  • Test pins
  • Digital bill validator with counting function
  • Digital bill validators without counting function
  • Bundesbank app

In the following we explain the different types and the respective advantages and disadvantages. With this we want to help you to find the most suitable money checking device for you.

What distinguishes a money validator with black light lamp and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Money detectors that work with UV light are a real classic. They are quite inexpensive to purchase and check the fluorescent features of banknotes.

As you have already learned in the guide, banknotes are equipped with various security features designed to make them impossible to counterfeit.


Cheap to buy
Compact design
Credit cards and passports can also be checked
Maintenance uncomplicated


None 100% safety
Lower verification speeds than digital money validators
Audible warning signal only
No software updates

For example, various fibres are integrated into the paper of the banknote. The colours blue, green, yellow and red only become visible under this ultraviolet light. In addition, you can see stars in the EU flag, which therefore glow yellow under UV light.

There are money detectors in the form of black light strips with tubes or as compact and often mobile devices. The housing is often black and equipped with a reflector foil for a higher light yield.

The bill validator with UV lamp is available mobile and also in the form of floor standing devices. These are for example often used at the cash desk in the supermarket.

What distinguishes a money checking pen and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Test probes are particularly suitable for mobile use. They are easy to handle, require hardly any space and are very inexpensive.


Mobile use
Suitable for controlling almost all currencies
Cheap to buy
EUR,USD or GBP are supported


None 100% safety
Not suitable for large amounts of cash
Only random checks possible
Test duration longer

Banknotes from Australia and some tropical countries, which are not made of cotton and special ink, can unfortunately not be checked with a money checking pen, because they are made of plastic.


  • Mark the banknote with the pen in a bright place
  • Wait a minute
  • Real money: The line fades to a slightly yellowish colour, hardly visible
  • Counterfeit money: A dark, usually clearly visible line remains

What distinguishes a digital money detector with counting function and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Do you need a money checking device that automatically counts the number of your banknotes, can handle larger quantities and is relatively secure?

The often integrated adding and counting function of the better banknote validators is very useful. An automatic acoustic notification is clearly audible when counterfeit money is detected.


relatively favorable
Sensor controlled and work completely independently
Software updates possible
High testing speed
Multiple 7-counterfeit detection methods and many additional functions


Stationary, no battery operation possible
Relatively large
Cheaper devices offer only 3-fold inspection and no value counting

If desired, the device stops the counting and checking process. Often banknote testing devices or banknote counters are individually programmable. They are stationary and relatively expensive to buy. They check up to seven different characteristics of banknotes.

The very expensive devices for about 700 euros often have a value counting and bundling function in addition to the fake counting. They also check up to seven unique features of a banknote.

These testing devices work extremely fast and offer many premium features. If you can do without some features, we recommend you take a look at the banknote testers without counting function. They are especially recommended for cash terminals.

What distinguishes a digital money detector without counting function and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Automatic banknote validators are controlled by a sensor and operate completely independently. If you can do without a counting function, then you are offered a very high level of security for a lower price. If you still need a counting function, you can get an additional banknote counter.

These devices can check several properties of a banknote. They are easy to operate by pulling the notes through or placing them on the machine.


Fair purchase price in terms of price-performance
7-fold counterfeit detection
Short test time
Optical and acoustic warning signal
Testing of up to 9 different currencies
Mobile use


Not suitable for larger quantities or stacks of money
No count or value counting possible
No bundling function
Manual application or pulling through necessary

Good devices have the banknote recognition features stored as data of different currencies on an SD card and can be updated via the manufacturers.

What makes banknote verification apps stand out and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

The alternative to testing devices for private households is already available: the Bundesbank app, with which you can manually identify the most important features of banknotes:


Provides up-to-date information on financial topics and banknote recognition
App shows procedure for exact checking after taking a photo


Long check time
Relatively low safety
Tablet or Smartphone required for use

Purchase criteria: You can compare and evaluate money detectors based on these factors

In the following we show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate money detectors. This will make it easier for you to get an overview and to decide on a suitable and effective model.

In summary, these criteria are as follows:

  • Handling and mobility
  • Period of review
  • Audit methods / currency diversity
  • Up-to-dateness and software update
  • Price / Performance

Below you can read what the criteria are and find out why it makes sense for you to purchase a model according to the criteria or not.

Handling and mobility

In principle, all the banknote testing devices presented in the test are relatively easy to operate. There are different procedures for operation and, which we will briefly discuss here.

Some either do not require a power supply to check counterfeit money or are equipped with a rechargeable battery (in addition to the existing mains connection). However, they are also available as stationary versions with a power connection.

Before buying, you should be clear whether you want to use the devices mobile or just stationary.

Money check pens can easily be used in any checkout area, as they require little space. A bright spot on the banknote is marked by the pen, which is hardly visible and should fade quickly. If the line remains, the banknote is a counterfeit.

Digital money detectors (without counting function) are usually compact and handy. They often have a rechargeable battery function and validate banknotes by swipe or by placing the banknote on the surface. An acoustic and often additionally digital signal identifies the banknote as counterfeit money.

Digital money detectors (with counting function) are often fully automatic and work as mentioned above. In addition, you may require additional functions such as bundling the banknotes or counting the value. To check the money bundles are simply inserted here. Up to 1500 banknotes per minute are checked with the high-priced models.

Money detectors with black light lamps examine the characteristics of your banknote under ultraviolet light. Especially in a bright environment they are highly recommended. Simply place the banknote under the fluorescent light and check features such as glowing fibres or the yellow stars in the euro flag.

The handling of most devices is quite simple. For mobile use we recommend test pens, but also some UV tubes and small digital money detectors. It is important that they have a battery function in addition to the power connection.

Period of review

Digital bill validators are sometimes fastest here, with a checking speed of about half a second.

Some money validators with counting function process up to 1500 notes per minute. With the latter, however, the number of test methods often has to be reduced.

Test pens need less than a minute and with UV fluorescent tubes it depends on the personal speed b

Evaluations using the Bundesbank app sometimes take the longest.

The inspection period differs depending on the device and price. Test pens are particularly suitable for random checks, whereas digital money detectors with counting function are particularly suitable for large cash volumes.

Number of test methods and currency diversity

Before buying, be sure to check the number of currencies available. Premium models, which are test winners or are further up in the ranking, examine up to 9 different currencies:

  • Euro (EUR)
  • US Dollar (USD)
  • Großbritannien Pfund / Pfund (GBP)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • Polish Złoty (PLN)
  • Swedish Krona (SEK)
  • Norwegian kroner (NOK)
  • Danish krone(DKK)
  • Hungarian Forint (HUF)

Banknote testing pens can be used to test US dollars, euros (including all new notes) and British pounds. UV banknote validators can also be used to validate ID cards, passports and driving licences and their components.

The more test characteristics are tested, the more reliable the device is in terms of counterfeit detection. Digital devices have a maximum of 7 counterfeit detection methods. Besides infrared, magnetic and metallic properties, the watermark, size and thickness of the paper are checked.

Test pens and UV testers primarily examine fluorescent features and therefore do not provide 100% certainty. With apps, the banknotes must be checked manually by looking, tilting and feeling.

Up-to-dateness and software update

The appearance of banknotes is constantly changing. This often involves revising various security features to protect against counterfeit money.

For example, the European Central Bank has decided to gradually introduce new banknotes in the Europe series (€). As this process will take years (until 28 May 2019), it is important that your machine is kept up to date.

The software of many digital money validators can therefore be regularly updated via the manufacturers.

Price / Performance

The more currencies to be checked and the more test methods your device should use, the more the price will increase. For example, a digital testing device is much more expensive than a test pen.

Cheap and simple UV money checkers usually start at 20 Euro. With higher priced models there are no upper limits to the type and range of functions.

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about the subject of money checking devices

How do I update the software and keep my device up-to-date?

The update is usually carried out directly by the manufacturers.

You need:

  • Your bill validator
  • USB cable for connection to PC
  • A (Windows) PC


    Usually you log in on the website of the manufacturer, e.g. Go to “Customer Service” and then click on the “Downloads” section.
    Then check the article number that you find at the bottom of your device.
    Select the update package and download it.
    Extract the ZIP file
    Connect the bill validator to the PC
    Put the device in update mode
    Hold “Mode” and briefly press ON/OFF
    Update the software

You can find more information on Youtube or on your manufacturer page.

How do I detect counterfeit money without expensive equipment?

Banknotes are best examined according to the ‘feel-see-Kippen‛’ motto of the European Central Bank.


You can feel and also see the different punched out signs with your fingertips. BCE ECB ЕЦБ ECB EKP EKT EKB BĊE EBC is the combination of the First Series of Abbreviations for the ECB, the European Central Bank. You can find them on the front of the note, horizontally on the left side.

The paper quality is also important for your sense of touch. In Germany, the paper used for banknotes is made of cotton and feels firm and handy. Counterfeit money, on the other hand, feels smooth – like a piece from your home printer.

Rely on your feeling, if you are uncertain check the banknote with the Bundesbank-App or with a money checking device.


Look at your banknote against the light. The portrait window of the goddess Europa, the watermark and the security thread become visible.


The most obvious and easiest to verify feature of your banknote is the hologram. You can find it in the form of a shiny stripe on the front of the banknote.

When panning, its color changes, a building and a value numeral becomes visible as a watermark only in backlight.

Special tools are needed to check the additional security features of euro banknotes.

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