More than meets the eye

People work too hard for their money for it to be undermined by counterfeiters. Central banks and money producers have expert teams working round the clock to create new technology to stay ahead of these criminals.

But the biggest weapon against counterfeit bills entering circulation is the general public. It is vitally important that banknote technologies are impossible to recreate but easy for the members of the public to identify, so they can quickly and easily spot a real from a fake.

It has a unique feel that is hard to recreate

Modern paper banknotes are made from a special blend of cotton, which gives your money a distinctive and instantly recognisable feel. Not only does this make the note last longer, it’s extremely difficult for counterfeiters to recreate this unique feel.

There are also printing techniques which raise or depress the surface of a banknote in unique patterns to create a rare texture. These tactile features can’t be re-created on plastic money, which means a counterfeit note is likely to feel the same in your hands as a genuine one.

Technology can be embedded into the note

Paper currency is made by blending natural fibres together which means security threads with moving-image technology can be seamlessly woven into the banknote fibres. Paper banknotes can also use watermarks and special inks which reveal hidden images which people can use to authenticate genuine notes. Plastic banknotes can’t deploy these security features. On top of that the vital security features in plastic banknotes tend to wear quicker than the note itself, while security features on paper notes last the duration of its lifetime.

Additional security features can be added to banknote’s surface

Other technology can be added to the surface of banknote paper to create eye-catching visual effects which are easy for the public to authenticate but nearly impossible for counterfeiters to re-create. Unlike traditional clear windows or holograms traditionally used on plastic money, 3D-image technology used on paper banknotes are not used in any other application, which means counterfeiters cannot outsource, or reverse engineer them.