I'm not up to date on more recent book offerings, because I think anything past 3E is kind of crap (boatloads of setting flavor and quirks entirely stripped out, etc) - so if there's been new information published that contradicts this information, I'm cool with it, but it's not usually something they actually do.
Shadowrun 3E core rule book, page 239-
Similar to a cash or bearer bond, a certified credstick is not registered to a specific person and is worth the amount of credit encoded on it. It requires no identification to use. As it is encoded by the financial institution that issued it with raw funds, it can be used by individuals other than the person to whom it
was originally issued. Banks usually charge a small percentage to create a certified credstick. They cannot be used as ID.
Certified credsticks are a popular form of payment among shadowrunners.
There is no account it is tied to, the funds exist solely on the credstick- which is why there are rules for cracking them to create money out of thin air (though extremely challenging).
In 3E, Registered credsticks are made of various materials/colors to indicate their maximum single transaction amount, and it also indicates the level of ID required to utilize it.
- Standard — 5,000 — Passcode
- Silver — 20,000 — Fingerprint
- Gold — 200,000 — Voiceprint
- Platinum — 1,000,000 — Retinal scan
- Ebony — No limit — Cellular scan
3E Certified credsticks are not noted as being banded or having a 'type' to indicate how much money is on the stick. Being electronic devices, our tabletop group simply treated them as having a tiny display readout on them to check the balance. There is also no indiciation of a maximum transaction limit on them, as they are 'cash', you don't really have any sort of security here.
In reading the info available in Sprawl Survival Guide, there was only an elaboration on the functions and things you could do with them, such as cracking them and attempting to generate fake nuyen, or even new identities, but nothing about special bands.
In 4E, they changed to the 'commlink' system for all your major information that was previously provided by a registered credstick, so they only have certified sticks. The text is almost identical in the book from the 3E blurb on certified sticks, but they did add this:
Shadowrun 4E core rule book, page 260-
Banks issue certified credsticks in certain colors to generally indicate the limit of funds they carry; there is no limit on transaction amounts, however, except to the limit of what the credstick carries (see the Certified Credstick Table).
In the typical 4E fashion (lack of flavor), they merely copied the original Registered stick colors and made minor alterations to have them serve as Certified.
- Standard - 5,000
- Silver - 20,000
- Gold - 100,000
- Platinum - 500,000
- Ebony - 1,000,000
In 5th Edition, these colors and values remain unchanged (5E core, page 442&443)
There could be other 4e & 5e fluff that elaborates on these in some manner, but I don't have many of those books and haven't bothered to look, though it did leave me mightily curious about where this "banded" credstick nonsense actually started, so I went back to my 2E core rulebooks to take a gander for anything useful.
2E Page 245 seems to indicate only 3 types of Registered sticks:
the credstick transmits identification data from a simple ID number (standard) or a thumbprint (silver stick) or a retinal pattern (platinum sticks) to the bank or lock.
Limited-use credsticks carry a specified credit limit, much like a certified check. Ownership of a certified credstick is by the bearer.
I skimmed through my 1st Edition core book and only found credsticks mentioned twice. Once in creation, indicating that all new runners get one, and later in the area discussing the fencing of loot, where it noted the fence would be interested in purchasing certified credsticks. The general assumption seemed to be that you would deal in cash(nuyen) and corporate scrip.
In all the digging around I've done thus far, I have found one and only one source online of Shadowrun-related material that mentioned the credsticks were banded to indicate max value, and that was on a few text-based MUDs which all sprang up from the same original source host and kept copies of the original area and item files before branching off in their own directions.
If there is a canon source for this piece of setting lore, I would love to have it and add it to my collection, but I haven't been able to confirm the existence of such a thing as of yet. All other references are to the color of the stick as a whole.
The word 'band' or 'banded' does not appear anywhere I can find in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th Edition core books.