There is not a vending or beverage machine in the United States, or anywhere else in the world, that’s manufactured without a currency acceptor mechanism, the system that identifies and validates your dollar bills. Chances are, the next time you buy a soda or a bag of chips — or slide a bill into a slot machine — the machine’s validation system could have been produced by Global Payment Technologies (GPT).
Headquartered in Hauppauge, N.Y., GPT is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of automated currency acceptance and validation systems. These systems are used to receive and authenticate currencies in a variety of payment applications worldwide. Its patented and proprietary technologies are among the most advanced in the industry. Bill Nader, senior vice president, sales and business development, says, “The currencies that are in circulation within a country very often appear similar to the human eye, but in fact contain small or subtle differences that are quite significant to a currency validator.” GPT’s currency validators, he says, are “sophisticated, computerized machines that collect and interpret various data and information from each bill inserted.”
Founded in 1988, the company got its start by designing a unique bill acceptor. Now, GPT’s bill acceptor systems have one of the most comprehensive databases available, providing the ability to identify the currencies of more than 50 countries. The various applications for these systems include gaming, vending, retail and banking.
GPT ranked 29th among Forbes magazine’s Best 200 Small Companies in November 1999 — a marked increase from Forbes’ 1998 report, in which GPT ranked 52nd. That rise was due in part to the company’s success in the gaming industry, which presently accounts for approximately 85 percent of its business. Nader points out, “Few people carry change to slot machines. It’s a psychological game, because you don’t have to keep on getting up and asking for change. It keeps the entertainment value for the customer as private as it can get.”
Among GPT’s new products is its ARGUS currency validator, the first in the company’s Synergy product line, which boasts the most sophisticated sensor system available today. Designed to fit into applications that currently use GPT’s GII-International Down-Stacker, this product can process multicountry currencies of up to 30 notes measuring between 2.44 inches (62 millimeters) to 3.35 inches (84 millimeters) in width. ARGUS is already designed to work with the new euro. In addition, GPT recently shipped its first order for ARGUS from Amtote, Australia.
“ARGUS is a worldwide one-size-fits-all validator that uses the same hardware for all currencies,” Nader explains. “The ARGUS product greatly simplifies our customers’ design and inventory requirements, allowing them to easily convert to any country’s database simply by downloading the supplied software. There are no alterations necessary to enable ARGUS to validate different widths/lengths/designs of currencies (other than a small snap-in bezel part). This exciting feature allows a customer to stock ARGUS and literally pull the product off the shelf, perform a simple software download and ARGUS is ready to go anywhere in world.”
The ARGUS sensor system has a patent pending red, green, blue and infrared (RGBI) optical array, which generates 56 channels of high-resolution data. It is arranged in a unique layout that allows for the analysis of a note’s signature (fingerprint) without incurring gaps between optical sensors. It also has a high-sensitivity magnetic sensor and high-resolution Side-Looking Sensors™. When the optical information is used with the Side-Looking Sensors™, the currency validator sets new standards for worldwide currency acceptance and fraud rejection.
GPT’s Synergy line also consists of a Palm Pilot™ hand-held downloading device and application software that provides the user with the ability to download and troubleshoot currency validators in the field. GPT’s patented SDA (Soft Drop Analyzer) stacker option enables financial and technical performance data to be retrieved directly from the Security Removable Cassette.
New Partnerships, New Growth
“Our focus is to maintain and grow,” Nader says. “Next year, we plan to diversify and expand into new gaming markets.” Those markets include Russia, Asia and Latin America. Along with its manufacturing facility in Hauppauge, which measures 45,000 square feet, GPT also operates on the global level with affiliate offices or distributors in Las Vegas, Nev., London, South Africa, Australia, Italy, Russia and Malaysia.
On the retail cash-management side, GPT has partnered with a United Kingdom firm to form Abacus Financial Management, Inc. USA, to distribute a retail cash-management system. This product validates and then stores the bill in a minisafe until it is ready for transport to the bank. Says Nader. “This is a totally new concept which, we believe, will prove to be a much more efficient alternative for retailers.” Recently, GPT SA (South Africa) merged its gaming operations with Vukani Gaming Corporation, solidifying GPT’s entry into the burgeoning South African market.
Later this year, GPT is planning to launch GIII Vending, a currency validation system tailored to the beverage vending industry also based on the ARGUS platform. “This will be a specially designed note acceptor, a lower-priced unit than those needed in gaming because different security measures are involved,” says Nader.
GPT’s new line of highly sophisticated products coupled with partnerships, superb industry expertise and customer service have combined to make GPT a worldwide leader in the manufacture of currency acceptor systems. Nader says, “We’re looking to technologically surpass traditional note acceptors and provide various industries a superior product which will naturally evolve with card-based technology for all applications, i.e. gaming, vending, banking, and retail. ‘Cashless’, meaning no coins, is the buzzword of today’s world and GPT will be there, ready and waiting”.