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New security features in the Polish circulating banknotes

The National Bank of Poland has presented the PLN 10, 20, 50 and 100 banknotes with upgraded security features that will be introduced to circulation in April 2014. The uncovered watermark field, introduction of iridescent ink and improved recto-verso security feature are the most important changes that the Poles will notice on the banknotes from April next year.

It is worth noting that the graphic design of the banknotes will remain unchanged, but the introduction of new security features will make a noticeable difference between the old and the new banknotes. The PLN 200 banknote will remain unchanged.

“Changing banknote security features is a purely technical operation. Banknotes with modern security features will be gradually introduced into circulation from April 2014 as part of the standard operations of providing banks with cash and withdrawing damaged or old banknotes from circulation. This means that none of the banknotes with the new security features will end up in our wallets before this date. All of the banknotes used currently will remain a legal tender indefinitely” said Marek Belka, President of the National Bank of Poland.

In order to prepare all participants of cash transactions for this change, starting from January 2014 the National Bank of Poland in co-operation with PWPW will conduct an all-Polish information campaign entitled “Safe Money” concerning the new security features in Polish banknotes. Among other things, a free mobile application “NBP Safe” will be released as part of the campaign to present the security features of Polish banknotes as well as the current table of currency exchange rates as published by the National Bank of Poland.

The security features and the cash transactions support system introduced in 1995 are operating without fault, and the level of banknote forgeries in Poland is low. However, the technological progress that has occurred over the last years requires us to carry out the technical operation consisting in modernising the security features of the circulating banknotes. Its purpose is to increase the security of cash transactions for the coming years.  

“Contrary to all appearances, the modernisation of banknotes is a much greater challenge for their manufacturer than designing a new series in which the graphic elements may be more easily adapted to requirements of individual security features. In the case of modernisation the necessity to retain the basic graphic elements from the current series constituted a significant technical limitation during the introduction of the new security features” explained Krzysztof Żarnotal, President of the Board of PWPW.

The banknote series “Polish rulers” designed by Andrzej Heidrich that we are using currently was introduced to circulation in 1995. This is going to be the first time that the National Bank of Poland carries out the operation of changing banknote security features. Central banks carry out such actions regularly: usually once every 8 years. This year the European Central Bank introduced the modernised 5 euro banknote to circulation. Previously, new banknote security features had been introduced also by Spain – 7 years as well as Slovakia and Estonia – 3 and 4 years prior to entering the euro zone.

PWPW (Polish Security Printing Works)

1 R. Sanguszki Street
00-222 Warsaw, Poland
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tel. (+48) 22 235 20 00
fax (+48) 22 235 24 50