The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
In the United States, the American Bankers Association (ABA) has a standard for both value and color, as shown below. Note that all bills greater than $1 only come in straps of 100 count. The colors allow for quick accounting, even when the bills are stacked, such as in a vault. Special striped bands are used for straps containing only star notes.
Bundling money together with a simple elastic or paper device is as old as paper currency itself. However, measured and standardized straps are a relatively new idea. For example, until the mid-1970s, The US Federal Reserve counted bills by hand. That is, they employed 55 currency counters whose job it was to count as well as, by touch and feel, authenticate bills. However, as the amount of currency in circulation increased, they found that they needed a more efficient way to count currency. To help the Currency Counting staff keep up, the Bank began strap-sorting the $1 to $20 notes. Straps were visually inspected and weighed against a counterweight equal to the paper mass of 100 genuine U.S. notes.
ABA Standard (United States)
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