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Why is Ink Dye, IBNS, the Best Cash Protection Solution for your ATM?

Automated Teller Machines meet consumers demands for 24/7 access to cash. This is seen with ATMs in locations such as retail stores, shopping malls, gas stations, and transport hubs. The convenience that ATMs offer is not without risks. These non branch locations have become the ‘hotspots’ for ATM attacks - cash theft and ATM robbery.

ATM physical attacks will impact on more than the ATM itself - customers, the residents close to the ATM when it is attacked and especially the cash replenishment organizations.

ATM night


What is IBNS ?

IBNS definition

Intelligent Banknote Neutralisation System, IBNS is a most effective ATM cash protection system.

The key proposition with IBNS is that it protects banknotes valuable items by removing their value and rendering them unusable if the ATM is attacked. Banknotes are stained with a conspicuous bright coloured ink, thereby marking them as stolen.

Unlike dye, packs when used in cassettes these systems do not decrease the note capacity of the cassette and as can be seen they have the intelligence to active when the ATM is attacked in a number of ways.

Active IBNS 

Active IBNS utilizes the inbuilt intelligence of the system to recognize when the ATM is being attacked such as by ram raid, hook and chain, explosive and then automatically activate, indelibly marking the banknotes.

Passive IBNS

Passive IBNS systems are only capable of activation using the energy generated by the explosion, so are not suitable for deterring any other type of attack.

IBNS alternatives

Glue and other bonding agents when compared to ink in IBNS systems are both toxic and slow to neutralize the banknotes. Evidence shows that banknotes neutralized in this way can be unglued and then used.

These systems also require the glue tanks to be replaced every 12 to 18 months resulting in a far higher cost of ownership model when compared to comparable ink based systems, with lives of 8-10 years.

IBNS & Oberthur Cash Protection's ICSD (In-Cassette Staining Device)

These IBNS systems such as OCP’s ICSD need to meet a range of country standards such as for France. OCP’s system meets the requirement of 100% banknotes to be stained to a minimum of 20% of the note surface. Criminals realize that the reward from stealing these neutralized notes is not worth the risk of attacking the ATM especially as the ink can contain trace elements so that automatic note readers will reject the notes and even more so, as it will link a stained note to a specific ATM, so helping to secure a conviction.

IBNS can be used as a layered approach to enhance the existing security measures already deployed such as armored vehicles or ATM protection measures. A notable benefit of OCP’s IBNS is that it can enhance the security during the sensitive ATM replenishment operation.

ICSD cassette 1 bw

Types of Ink Used with IBNS Solutions

IBNS use an indelible ink dye to render stolen banknotes worthless. To achieve this the most commonly used colors are bright violet, green, blue, red, or black. These mostly vivid colours mean that regardless of the design of the banknote they will be clearly noticeable degraded enough to identify them as being stolen money when compared to valid banknotes.billetdollar multicolor

The ink flows from the edges of the banknote towards the center, leaving a distinctive pattern for recognition. It is most important that a high percentage of the note is stained as this will enable mechanised note readers to recognise the inked notes.

Being indelible, this means that while criminals may try washing the ink from the banknotes it will only alter the banknote’s color or damage some of its security features making the note even more noticeable as being stolen.


ATM attacks, whether physical or logical, are significantly increasing around the world, despite the introduction of

traditional security enhancements such as higher grade ATM vaults, locking bars, enclosures etc.. These do not offer a

greater deterant as criminals use even larger quantities of explosives, more powerful grinders etc. Never the less

evidence from around the world for example – France, Mexico, Malaysia ... All points to the introduction

of IBNS as being a truly viable option that will deter ATM physical attacks.Eric circle

                                                  Eric Hauw , Global Sales & Marketing Director, Oberthur Cash Protection


Discover now : How To Future Proof Your ATM Network from physical Attacks !

ATM Whitepaper