Browse Prior Art Database

Cash drawer security method

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000177086D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Dec-04
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Dec-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 19K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

An architecture is described that provides enhanced security an auditability of cash drawers attached to point of sale terminals.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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Cash drawer security method

Virtually all point of sale (POS) terminals have a cash drawer for the storage of money, credit card receipts, etc. A significant portion of fraud occurs in stores because of unauthorized accesses to the cash drawer. This disclosure describes a method that insures monitored cash drawer access, and provides a method for software in the POS terminal to detect fraudulent cash drawer activities on the part of staff or third parties.

A typical cash drawer has very little intelligence. The vast majority in use today are simple solenoids or motors that are activated by the terminal. Some type of signaling/feedback is usually provided by the drawer to the system indicating that the drawer is open. Some cash drawers have simple intelligence that allow for them to be controlled by RS232 or USB signals. The intelligence in these drawers is limited to decoding the open command, etc.

Modern device controllers (particularly USB controllers) have much more processing power, and lend themselves to putting more intelligence in the drawer, This intelligence can be used to deliver a much more secure solution that can provide much more control and auditability to the retailer. Security features of this solution include:

- an ID that is unique to each cash drawer, stored in the cash drawer electronics
- an ID that is unique to each till (in the case of a cash drawer with removable tills) - cash drawer circuitry that includes a battery powered timekeeping device.
- Software that supports cash drawer operation

The unique drawer ID is typically programmed into a small EEROM the drawer at the factory. The till ID, if used, is also programmed in to the till at the factory (small contacts on the surface of the till of connect with contacts in the drawer base when the till is placed in the drawer). Anytime the drawer is powered up or the drawer controller is reset, the drawer provides unique ID information to the POS terminal software.

When the drawer and software are first installed, a configuration process is completed where...