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New series of feature notes on Hybrid ADDvance® with embedded security features
#Cash

How to combine banknote security and durability

Technical Innovation
4 Mins.

Product development often involves many challenges when it comes to the prioritization of different requirements. Is security the most important? Or should sustainability or design take precedence? Customers require a balance of all these components to have something that looks and feels great, but which will also be safe and long-lasting

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a shift in product development conditions that has led to megatrends such as digitalization and sustainability becoming more prominent. As a result, greater pressure is being placed on manufacturers and development teams to produce smart solutions that integrate resource-efficient components. Integrating a strategic sustainability perspective into the early phases of the product innovation process – including life-cycle thinking – is one way to overcome this challenge.1 By looking holistically at a product’s life cycle and innovating with new materials, this balance can more easily be found.

As an example, the automotive industry must ensure that cars uphold maximum levels of safety, while also incorporating great design and sustainability – key pillars of customer satisfaction. The average car contains more than 30,000 parts, many of them steel.2 Each piece requires different types of steel to maximize performance, efficiency, and safety for consumers. Traditionally, in order to make steel stronger (and safer), automakers had to make sacrifices in weight and formability. However, a new generation of high-strength steels enabled automakers to increase strength while also decreasing weight, which also helps to increase a car’s sustainability.2 This demonstrates that new technology and materials offer great ways for manufacturers to meet multiple requirements.

Maintaining banknote security through innovation

The currency industry faces the same challenges of upholding constantly high levels of banknote security, while at the same time guaranteeing durability. The longer a banknote lasts, the more sustainable it is – yet this should not compromise the quality and quantity of security elements that can be embedded in the banknote. Elements such as watermarks, color-shift patches, foils, and threads are crucial to combat counterfeits. These security features must ensure smooth processing throughout the banknote’s entire life cycle, but the banknote must also incorporate aesthetics. As a visual representation of a country’s cultural identity, a banknote should include striking design and storytelling elements.

Although this seems like an impossible task, innovative technologies in banknote production enable superior security, durability, and design to be achieved. G+D’s banknote substrate Hybrid ADDvance® allows a wide and scalable spectrum of embedded security technology and supports high-end security features for all circulating conditions and across all denominations. At the same time, it provides complete design freedom to choose from an array of eye-catching security features, meaning it looks and feels great for citizens. So, rather than having to choose between security and durability, high-tech substrates allow you to obtain both. This is the holistic approach we follow with our Advanced Currency Management offering.

Figure showing the components of a banknote substrate
Every layer and every component of a banknote has a very specific purpose. Together they ensure maximum security and durability

Create long-lasting confidence with unmatched security from within

Hybrid ADDvance® is also highly sustainable as it lasts longer than most substrates. Composed of waste cotton products from the textile industry, it uses minimal materials based on fossil fuels. Taking a more sustainable approach and looking at new materials beyond traditional substrates also helps to end our reliance on plastics and, ultimately, reduce our plastic waste. After all, when it comes to sustainability, less plastic is always better.

“Rather than having to choose between security and durability, high-tech substrates allow you to obtain both“

The importance of life-cycle thinking

Thinking about every stage of a banknote’s life cycle is also important for players involved in the cash cycle. This thinking should start with the selection of the substrate, where fully embedded security features can build an extremely high barrier against counterfeiting. They also last longer, which leads to a longer note circulation lifetime. This lowers print volumes and, in turn, the cost of cash. Increased robustness allows notes to stay clean and stiff even in harsh circulation conditions, ensuring they maintain optimum machine readability and processing capability. The ability to process and destroy Hybrid ADDvance® notes alongside cotton-based denominations further enhances convenience through different stages of each banknote’s life cycle.

In the same way that automotive manufacturers must innovate to continually improve safety, efficiency, and sustainability, so too must the currency industry strive to enhance banknote substrates and widen the options for banknote design. New technology and materials are vital to ensure that the cost of cash remains low and that the public can continue to rely on cash as a secure, inclusive, and reliable form of payment.

  1. “The need for new product development capabilities,” MDPI, 2020

  2. “Why formability, crashworthiness, and durability are critical in auto design,” POSCO Newsroom, 2017

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