What is important when transporting money and valuable items?
If you are a forward-thinker and are already using cashless payment methods, then you can stop reading here. If, however, you belong to the generation that thinks that “cash is king”, then this blog will definitely be interesting for you.
Although cashless payment methods using Maestro Cards, credit cards, smartphones and other means are on the rise, a large share of purchases made within Europe are still paid for using cash. As at the end of December 2018, there were 22.62 billion bank bills worth EUR 1,231.1 billion in circulation in the eurozone. Many of these bills change owners every day and are taken to banks to be stored securely. As an individual, you carry your bills in your wallet or purse and take them to the bank to be paid in. How though does a department store that takes tens of thousands of euros every day do this? This is the reason that money transporters exist. They pick up the cash and take it to the bank. However, they do not keep the cash in a normal envelope or a bag, but rather a specially designed and manufactured security bag. Stitched into this bag is a great deal of expertise and development work.
The security bag
You can think of the security bag as being similar to the jiffy bags in which items of clothing are sent – but with significantly more security features. After the cash is placed in the bag, it is sealed securely in the same way as a normal envelope – via an adhesive applied on the closing flap. The flap now has to form a seal so strong that it cannot be opened without being detected both immediately after being sealed and until the bag is delivered to its destination. This is achieved by using an adhesive that has a very strong initial bond, also known as the tack, and high adhesive strength. Once the bag is en route with the transporter, there are further dangers lying in wait for the contents of the bag. Resourceful people keep employing a wide variety of methods to try to open the bag without getting caught.
The security features of the bag
This is why it is important to equip the bag with a great many security features.
- Security printing
If an attempt is made to open the bag without using any tools, the bag film will either become heavily distorted and even rip, or security printing applied to the bag will be triggered, displaying a legible message – frequently “VOID” or “STOP”. This provides clear evidence that an attempt has been made to open the bag. As simply tearing the bag open is not an effective method of opening the security bag without being detected, other tricks and tools are used.
- Color change when exposed to warm temperatures
Anyone who has tried to remove labels from surfaces in the past knows that they are easier to remove if you use a hot air gun or a hairdryer. This trick works with both labels and shipping bags. Once applied, the heat causes the adhesive to melt and lose its adhesive strength and cohesion, which makes the bag much easier to open. A security feature is thus needed to reveal whether high temperatures have been used in an attempt to tamper with the bag. This feature is realized through the use of special imprints that change color irreversibly when exposed to high temperatures. Once the imprint changes color, it cannot be changed back to the original color, thus providing evidence that high temperatures have been used in an attempt to tamper with the bag.
- Color change when exposed to cold temperatures
What happens to the bag if it is exposed to cold temperatures? Anyone who has placed an object bearing a label in the freezer will know that this can make the label easier to remove and it sometimes even falls off by itself. This is because the adhesive becomes hard and brittle, losing its elasticity and tack. This also holds true with the security bags, which is why security features have also been designed with this fact in mind. Specifically, a component included in the adhesive that changes color when exposed to cold temperatures. Once effected, this change in color likewise cannot be reversed. The use of such special components that change their color when exposed to high and low temperatures provides a high level of security against tampering.
Attempts are frequently made to dissolve the adhesive using solvents. There are, however, some great solutions that show when solvents have been used in an attempt to tamper with the bag. An example of an ideal security feature in this respect would be an imprint that dissolves in the solvent.
There are a wide range of solutions available on the market which demonstrate whether attempts have been made to tamper with security bags using heat, cold, solvents and mechanical force. When selecting these solutions, it is extremely important to know that all of the security features used must be able to work properly together! This is the only way to ensure that attempts to tamper with the bags can be reliably detected. The aim of using all of these features is not to prevent the security bags from being tampered with, but to make it possible for the recipients of the bags to see when attempts have been made to take or add items from and to the bags.
Different uses of the security bags
These security measures are not only used for transporting money now. Have you ever bought a bottle of spirits or perfume from the duty-free shop in an airport? Such purchases are often placed in a security bag that is sealed with an adhesive tab. This prevents the liquid from being replaced with another kind of liquid. Premium replacement parts for vehicles are now also delivered in security bags that reveal when attempts have been made to tamper with them.
- The transport of cash and valuable items is a sensitive matter that requires a high level of security
- Cash is sent in security bags that reveal when attempts have been made to tamper with them
- Security bags are designed in such a way that they can reveal when attempts have been made to tamper with them using heat, cold, chemicals and mechanical force
- All of the components must be able to function properly with each other
- Absolute security is not possible
If you require more information on finding the right adhesive for your application, our adhesive experts would be happy to help.