Recent Developments in Banknote Security: What You Need to Know - Keesing Technologies

Recent Developments in Banknote Security:

What You Need to Know

Consider this: In the European Union, 376,000 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation in 2022. Counterfeit bills can impact your profits and erode customer trust. In a world where fake banknotes continue to pose a significant threat, countries and issuing authorities are updating their security features to prevent it. Understanding the latest advancements in banknote security can be your asset in bolstering your currency authentication, enhance fraud prevention, and secure your financial transactions. In this blog, we will uncover the latest trends and what you can do to authenticate currency and protect against financial fraud.

1. Polymer Banknotes

One of the most notable trends in recent years has been the shift towards polymer banknotes. Polymer banknotes are now used in over 45 countries worldwide, either as commemorative notes or for general circulation. Another 20 countries are likely to abandon paper banknotes in favor of polymer banknotes by 2030, like several countries in the Middle East and Europe (Rafiei et al., 2023). This shift towards polymer banknotes represents a move towards a more efficient, durable, and sustainable financial system. These notes are made of a type of plastic material, offering enhanced durability, resistance to wear and tear, and better security features. The tactile characteristic of polymer notes makes it harder for counterfeiters to replicate their unique texture.

2. Color-shifting features

Color-shifting ink is an advanced security feature that adds a dynamic element to banknotes. When you tilt the note, the colors appear to change, making it incredibly difficult for counterfeiters to replicate. Many central banks have incorporated this feature into their currency designs to make counterfeiting more challenging. In 2024, Macau will issue new banknotes that will include “dynamic images” created using iridescent ink.

3. Optically Variable Devices

OVDs are widely used to protect banknotes. They produce intricate and shifting patterns when viewed from different angles. These security features are highly effective against counterfeiting and are particularly prominent on high-denomination notes. Japan will be issuing a new set of banknotes with 3D holograms; they will be issued in the first half of fiscal 2024. This is the first time that 3D holographic technology will be used in banknotes in the world, according to Japan’s Ministry of Finance.

4. Tactile Features

The inclusion of tactile features on currency notes aims to enhance the accessibility of security of banknotes. Tactile features make it easier for individuals with visual impairments to distinguish between different denominations and verify the authenticity of banknotes. One of the most common tactile features is raised printing, where certain elements of a banknote, such as the denomination numeral, are printed with raised ink or embossed, creating a distinct texture that can be felt by touch.

Countries like Canada, Bahrain, Thailand, Malawi, and Hong Kong, among others, are printing notes with a tactile feature in the corner, providing a simple means for visually impaired individuals to discern the denomination. Meanwhile, several other nations have extended their efforts to enhance accessibility.

5. Microprinting and Fine Line Patterns

Microprinting involves the inclusion of extremely small and intricate text or patterns on banknotes. These details are intentionally designed to be so minuscule that they are nearly impossible to accurately replicate using standard printing methods or photocopiers. The text is often so fine that it appears as a solid line to the naked eye. This feature is often found on modern banknotes, and it requires specialized equipment to reproduce accurately.

Czech’s highest denomination has a new printing technology that is not visible to the naked eye and is already in circulation.

What can you do?

DocumentChecker interface for banknotes


Now that you know the advancements of the security features in banknotes, here is what you can do to further protect your financial transactions. First, having Keesing DocumentChecker as your source for reference data about banknotes. Since it was founded in 1911, Keesing has consistently proven its commitment to being a frontrunner in tracking counterfeit banknotes.

DocumentChecker is a trusted reference database for ID documents and banknotes with a collection of 6,000+ banknotes from over 200 countries and issuing authorities. You can get notifications on new or fake banknotes. Users can also interact with the security features, like hovering over Kinegram or SPARK® technology and see how they should move, as some examples, and you will have access to ‘Banknote Alert’ where you can compare current false banknotes circulating in the market with its original versions in detail.

Moreover, to stay on the cutting edge of banknote and identity verification, the Keesing Platform is your destination. Here, you can access new industry updates, insights, and trends.

As always, remember to use the “look, feel, tilt” method to authenticate banknotes.

Sign up for a free trial version of DocumentChecker and enhance your banknotes verification.


New banknotes feature 3-D holograms to prevent fakes | The Asahi Shimbun Asia & Japan Watch. (2023). The Asahi Shimbun.

New banknotes with fresh anti-counterfeiting tech to enter circulation in Q1 2024 | Macau Business. (2023, October 30). Macau Business.

New version of the CZK 5,000 banknote – Czech National Bank. (2023).

Rafiei, A., Karimi, A. H., & Bodaghi, M. (2023). Polymer Banknotes: A Review of Materials, Design, and Printing. Sustainability; Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute.

Tactile Features on Currency Notes are a Worldwide Trend. (2023, April 11). Equal Entry.