State Bank of Vietnam Marks 18 Years of Polymer Banknotes

As part of their 70th anniversary celebrations, the State Bank of Vietnam are also marking their 18th year of using polymer banknotes from CCL Secure, the world’s leading polymer banknote experts.

The SBV began their transfer to polymer in 2003 with the issue of new VND 50,000 and VND 500,000 notes. Four other denominations – 10k, 20k, 100k and 200k – followed, with immediate and long lasting benefits.

“Looking back on the journey of our polymer banknotes, we can clearly see the superiority, benefits, and economic efficiency from SBV’s good decisions to promote polymer banknotes,” said the Bank.

The primary reason for moving to polymer was to reduce the level of counterfeit notes in circulation, which has been successfully achieved.

“The number of counterfeit notes decreased significantly after the issuance of polymer banknotes”, said the SBV. “Between 2004 and 2011, the number of counterfeit notes in circulation fell by 76% compared to the period 1997-2004, when cotton notes were in circulation. By the end of 2020, counterfeit notes had decreased by 93.7% compared to 2011. 2020 is also the 4th consecutive year that a number of counterfeit notes in the Banking and State Treasury system decreased.”

In common with other Central Banks who have transitioned to CCL Secure’s GUARDIANTM polymer substrate, the SBV has achieved significant cost savings.

According to the Bank’s own analysis, the cotton/paper notes that were previously in circulation needed to be replaced every three years, while quality of polymer notes is retained after this period. So, although the cost of printing polymer banknotes is 1.5 – 2 times higher than that of the paper alternative, polymer lasts up to 4 times longer, leading to real cost savings for the State budget.

In addition, say the SBV, the polymer banknote’s impermeability is less likely to retain impurities on the notes, making them cleaner to use in everyday transactions.

Since first introducing GUARDIAN polymer banknotes, Vietnam have seen many other countries join them. In 2003 there were about 23 countries using polymer. Today, this number has increased to over 40 countries, of which more than 10 countries have issued a full series of polymer banknotes.

Along the way, Vietnam has stayed up to date with the latest printing and security features available with GUARDIAN polymer notes. “Using polymer substrate is an optimal choice to avoid counterfeiting which could attack the Vietnamese market. It also clearly shows that this is the optimal choice to ensure the balance in terms of costs and long-term benefits of cash issuance and circulation,” say the Bank.

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