In order to combat counterfeiting, Bank Indonesia (BI) announced this week that it would be upgrading the security features on its banknotes beginning in October.
Using a technique called “rainbow printing,” the new banknotes issued by BI are made by using several colours on a single plate that results in a natural blending of the colours and will prove to be very difficult to counterfeit, according to Muhammad Dahlan, the central bank’s director for circulation.
The security feature has been used before in Indonesia. Dahlan told the Antara news agency that a special 2010 edition of the Rp 10,000 banknote employed the technique.
Increasing security features on their currency was necessary, according to Dahlan, because authorities have noticed a rise in counterfeiting.
“The head of the Bank Indonesia branch in Denpasar, Jeffrey Kairupan, said that during the first quarter of the year, a total of 1,107 counterfeit banknotes were discovered in the province,” reported The Jakarta Globe. “That is a 12.5 percent increase from the same period in 2010.”
In addition to these figures, police say the Muslim holy holiday of Ramadan – which is happening now – is a prime time for counterfeiting.
“Ramadan is often seized upon as the ideal time to print and circulate counterfeit money because people have little time to check security features on notes given the increase in transactions as people buy more food, jewelry, clothes and gifts,” wrote the Globe.
Bank Indonesia has not yet said if additional security features will be added to the new banknotes, though they have reported they would print Rp 150 trillion ($17.5 billion) in new banknotes by the end of this year.