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Banks Continue to Support Holograms As Preferred Bank Note Security Feature

International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) : 17 May, 2010  (Technical Article)
The future of holograms as a counterfeit deterrent on banknotes is set to continue as bank survey demonstrates effectiveness of the technology as a simple and effective visual security device
The trade body representing the global hologram industry has welcomed a new finding which reaffirms the hologram's position as a pre-eminent security feature for banknotes.

The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) says that more than half of the people (55%) surveyed by The Dutch National Bank recognised holograms as an effective visual security device for banknotes, despite the introduction of other anti counterfeiting technologies.

Holograms scored ahead of features like iridescent strips (2%) and colour changing inks (3%) in the survey, which examined people's recall of banknote security features.

Ian Lancaster, IHMA general secretary, said: "The findings are welcome news as they support the fact that holography continues to be a highly effective, highly flexible weapon in the ongoing battle to thwart banknote counterfeiters and fraudsters.

"People are still reassured by the presence of holograms on banknotes and recognise the benefits they provide.

"Clearly, holography continues to hold a vital place in currency security while at the same time we are seeing strong interest from banks and central governments for new ways for this versatile and durable technology to be used."

The annual global volume of banknotes produced is more than 125 billion, so the reward for hologram producers capable of providing the technology to overcome the technical challenges is potentially highly lucrative

Projections suggest the market for banknote holograms will be worth $205 million in 2010, which is 36% increase on the 2007 figure - an average of 7% per annum.

The IHMA believes the future will be largely determined by the ability of new forms of optically variable technologies to displace holograms as an effective yet low cost authentication device but other factors are in play too, including their continuing use on existing notes despite the emergence of competing technologies.

Here, the capacity for holography to hold its own against other technologies will depend on pushing the boundaries of innovation even further. For example, its ability to display effects on either side of the note through windows or threads will be a useful benefit.

The biggest opportunity will come through growth in the overall usage of banknotes as larger issuing authorities either adopt holograms for the first time or extend their use to further denominations.

Countries like India, where the focus in recent years has been meeting the demand for clean banknotes for a rapidly expanding economy, also offers opportunities.

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