Banknotes made of Paper or cotton have more security features and they are familiar with consumers. Polymer notes, on the other hand, are more durable and are made of a more secure substrate. Banknotes were then produced with two outer layers of cotton and a central core of transparent polymer by the Swiss banknote provider Landqart in 2012. This new combination was called Durasafe substrate.
It is almost impossible to split the note, making it very secure. The cotton paper layers contain watermarks, security fibres, threads and other traditional security features. The look-and-feel is similar to that of paper notes, making them widely accepted. The Bank of Morocco chose Durasafe to produce MAD25 notes because it is printable like traditional banknote paper, yet is more durable. Cashiers and cash-handling professionals get a robust substrate without having to face any discontinuity.
The Durasafe polymer notes come with clear see-through windows. These features can also be customised as per the requirements of the Central Bank. The windows can also be integrated with just one of the paper layers to highlight the watermark, or to create innovative shapes through which the security thread can be seen.
The National Bank of Kazakhstan has also introduced new notes using this substrate. More and more countries are adopting this substrate when they want to demonetise high denomination banknotes and there is a high risk of counterfeiting. The latest notes of Switzerland include 15 different security features by combining the advantages of the polymer and paper substrates. The outer layers of paper can also be coloured differently making it even more difficult to counterfeit such notes. There is also an option to print on or emboss the transparent window.
Even though these notes are costlier to produce, Central Banks feel that they can be a good investment due to its high durability and amazing security features. The only drawback is that unlike paper or polymer notes, notes made of Durasafe substrate need to be separated before the elements are destroyed and reused. Experiments are being conducted to resolve this issue by shredding the notes.
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