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Time Machine: B.C. Credit Unionist, 1960

In the 1960s, financial institutions were getting creative in combatting fraud.

An article in the February 1960 issue of the B.C. Credit Unionist (the forerunner to Enterprise magazine), entitled “Monkey shines pay off,” shows that security was already an issue for financial institutions, especially in Asia, where counterfeit coins were rampant.

The solution: hiring monkeys (trained for up to two years!) to ferret out fakes based on weight, colour and strength.

These were identified by a “bite test,” since counterfeit coins mark more easily.

As the story goes, “A well-trained monkey is said to be worth up to $5,000 to a bank. In one day a Bangkok money sleuth detected 56 false coins.” ◊