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Collaboration at the heart of the fight against counterfeiting

Categories : Cash is universal
August 29, 2016
Tags : Banknotes, Central Bank, collaboration, Security features, Technology
Central banks often collaborate with security printers and security features manufacturers to creat increasingly complex banknotes.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

To create increasingly secure and complex banknotes, it is in the interest of central banks to collaborate with specialist partners such as security printers and security feature manufacturers. A collaborative approach is beneficial to all key players: security feature providers have more time and resources to focus on a specific technology and its application while central banks can rely on innovative projects to be one step ahead of counterfeiters.

Many banknotes issued in recent years are living proof of the benefits of such efforts visible through the integration of innovative inks, foils and threads on sophisticated substrates. Notably, the 50 Swiss francs – issued last April – was printed on a hybrid substrate of cotton paper and polymer and was the first to use a volume holography technique. It was only possible to apply this new technology thanks to the joint effort between the printer, machine manufacturer and security element provider. This new security feature has already intrigued other central banks and could appear in the next Israeli shekels.

Bank of Canada also decided to combine a new substrate with innovative security features to reduce counterfeiting. This required a number of material and production process improvements regarding temperature, speed and adhesion strength, among others. Bank of Canada reported a 74% drop in counterfeits since the introduction of the new series issued in 2011.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s new series is another example of successful collaboration. These banknotes are made of polymer and feature a foil patch applied over a clear window – a security element exclusive to polymer substrates. For this new combination, existing printing machines had to be modified and the chemistry adjusted to enable efficient production and better optical quality of banknotes. New Zealand’s $5 note won 2015 “Banknote of the Year” award attributed by the International Banknote Society (IBNS).

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