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Cash drawer

Cash drawer

  • October 9,2015.

Cash registers include a key labeled "No Sale", abbreviated "NS" on many modern electronic cash registers. Its function is to open the drawer, printing a receipt stating "No Sale" and recording in the register log that the register was opened. Some cash registers require a numeric password or physical key to be used when attempting to open the till.


A cash register's drawer can only be opened by an instruction from the cash register except when using special keys, generally held by the owner and some employees (e.g. manager). This reduces the amount of contact most employees have with cash and other valuables. It also reduces risks of an employee taking money from the drawer without a record and the owner's consent, such as when a customer does not expressly ask for a receipt but still has to be given change (cash is more easily checked against recorded sales than inventory).


A cash drawer is usually a compartment underneath a cash register in which the cash from transactions is kept. The drawer typically contains a removable till. The till is usually a plastic or wooden tray divided into compartments used to store each denomination of bank notes and coins separately in order to make counting easier. The removable till allows money to be removed from the sales floor to a more secure location for counting and creating bank deposits. Some modern cash drawers are individual units separate from the rest of the cash register.


A cash drawer is usually of strong construction and may be integral with the register or a separate piece that the register sits atop. It slides in and out of its lockable box and is secured by a spring-loaded catch. When a transaction that involves cash is completed, the register sends an electrical impulse to a solenoid to release the catch and open the drawer. Cash drawers that are integral to a stand-alone register often have a manual release catch underneath to open the drawer in the event of a power failure. More advanced cash drawers have eliminated the manual release in favor of a cylinder lock, requiring a key to manually open the drawer. The cylinder lock usually has several positions: locked, unlocked, online (will open if an impulse is given), and release. The release position is an intermittent position with a spring to push the cylinder back to the unlocked position. In the "locked" position, the drawer will remain latched even when an electric impulse is sent to the solenoid.


Due to the increasing amount of notes and varieties of notes, many cash drawers have opted to store notes in a vertical side facing position instead of the traditional horizontal upward facing position. This enables faster access to each note and allows more varieties of notes to be stored. Sometimes the cashier will even divide the notes without any physical divider at all. Some cash drawers are also flip top in design, where they flip open instead of sliding out like an ordinary drawer, resembling a cashbox instead.

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