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Digital Print Technology: An Opportunity and a Threat to Banknote Production

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For the banknote industry, the advent of and rapid advances in digital printing technology present both an opportunity and a threat.

On the one hand, digital pre-press techniques are revolutionizing the speed with which banknote designs can be originated, as well as broadening the range of security features that can be generated and the quality of these. Digital printing is also ideally suited for banknote serialization as an alternative to traditional letterpress printing, although banknote producers are yet to embrace it in production.

On the other hand, a combination of the falling prices in digital printing technology and advances in the quality and capabilities of these is lowering the bar to counterfeiting, and making the tools for the production of fake currency available to a much wider pool of potential counterfeiters. In other words, counterfeiting is moving beyond the traditional, skilled criminals and is now within the reach of the everyday opportunists – presenting a potential explosion in fake currency.

In their battle to stay one step ahead of the counterfeiters, banknotes issuers and producers are engaged in a constant process of innovation and renewal involving the reduction in the lifecycle of banknote designs and the development of ever-more complex intrinsic and extrinsic security features – at the same time as ensuring quality and durability of notes and their acceptability to the public.

This presentation will cover the principles of banknote production and the main producers, worldwide demand, rates and methods of counterfeiting (including an analysis of the growth of digital counterfeiting) and some of the latest features and development to maintain the integrity of banknotes, particularly against the threat posed by digital reproduction.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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