History of banknote substrates
“A Hybrid banknote offering maximum security and durability”
An innovation that really pays off
Over the last few years, central banks have been looking for a long-lasting and tough alternative to cotton banknotes. This is because low denominations, in particular, are subjected to high levels of everyday wear and tear as they change hands so frequently. In countries with extreme climatic conditions, banknotes are additionally affected by heat and moisture. The usage patterns of the population also have an impact on the resistance of a banknote. For example, banknotes are not always kept in a wallet, but may be scrunched up and stuffed into a trouser or jacket pocket.
There is another reason, too, why banknotes should remain clean and undamaged for as long as possible: the fitness and authenticity checks in ATMs and banknote processing machines. These can only be completed successfully if the banknotes are easy to identify and mechanically stable.
Central banks place strict demands on banknotes made of alternative materials. On the one hand, they must have a considerably longer service life and, on the other, users must feel that they are touching and feeling a real banknote. Central banks want to make sure that if cotton paper is replaced by new substrates, there is no uncertainty among the population about the authenticity of the banknotes. Banknotes that incorporate familiar and proven security features also increase confidence in their authenticity.