Top Security Features over the Past 5 Years for Asia and Pacific Rim

Cash is ubiquitous payment instrument for daily transactions all over the world. Considering its social and economic value, national authorities are responsible for providing banknotes that can function efficiently and are easy to verify their authenticity. This study is mainly focused on public security features….


Every regulator makes persistent efforts to improve security complex of the national currency, resulted in introducing of new and more secured series of banknotes. Changing old for new series is a complicated and continuous process that could last for a number years. New security features are introduced to ensure efficient banknote authentication on all the stages of circulation, as well as to meet the requirements for currency issuance of today and future banknotes. Earlier in September, Elena Rumyamtseva, former expert of the Bank of Russia, presented her survey on security features introduced on banknotes over the past five years at the Asia Cash Cycle Seminar in Bangkok.


The survey focuses on banknotes issued in circulation in Asia and Pacific Rim countries. The data also includes currency marks issued by central banks in Europe. Overall, 166 banknotes issued in 42 countries were analyzed. It worth mentioning that the author took only new series banknotes or their modifications which comprised only a new set of security features on banknotes since 2012 till 2017. The survey doesn’t cover the banknotes that were part of the series issued earlier.


By and large, central banks prefer to choose such security features that ate difficult to counterfeiting, easy to understand and communicate, easy for recognition and secure verification in the street, durable and well proven. At the same time, suppliers have to consider some limitations which issuing authorities might face with: a cost of security features, technical limitations of their printing work (lack of specific equipment or preferences of the printer that are given to only specific features). Those central banks that prefer to change printing works from time to time, they choose such features which can be reproduced by any printer.


138 of 166 banknotes (virtually 84%) were issued on a paper substrate, 25 – on polymer and 3 – on a Durasafe substrate. The substrate of a banknote determines a set of features introduced. As in terms of security features, banknotes on paper and Durasafe have a lot in common, they are analyzed jointly.


Leaving aside the statistics mentioned in the survey (read BoW October issue, going to press very soon), Elena Rumyantseva comes to the conclusion that despite the existing diversity of security features on the market to choose from, central banks demonstrate solidarity, which is actually quite rare for them, with regard to security features for the national currency. Especially, that concerns traditional printed and covert features - watermark, security thread, see-through register, microprinting, UV luminescence and IR absorption.


It would be appropriate to point out that most of the modern banknotes are featuring various types of optical variable, as well as dynamic effects based on different technologies. The second trend which is gaining momentum nowadays is that central banks increasingly tend to shift to polymer and hybrid substrates. That gives certain premises to say that features of transparent and semi-transparent windows on banknotes are on their rise, and continue to be so in the foreseeable future.

The case study was based on data from online resource – Currencies Of the World. For more information, please, click here.


This feature was provided by INTERCRIM, a founding partner of the Anti-Counterfeit & Currency Expo 2018.

To find out more about the currency and secure document market, be sure to visit the free-to-attend Anti-Counterfeit & Currency Exop & Conference, taking place November 6-8, 2018. Get your free pass online today.