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Currency design in the United States and abroad: counterfeit deterrence and visual accessibility

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  • Marcela M. Williams
  • Richard G. Anderson

Abstract

Despite the increasing use of electronic payments, currency retains an important role in the payment system of every country. In this article, the authors compare and contrast trade-offs among currency design features, including those primarily intended to deter counterfeiting and those to improve usability by the visually impaired. The authors conclude that periodic changes in the design of currency are an important aspect of counterfeit deterrence and that currency designers worldwide generally have been successful in efforts to deter counterfeiting. At the same time, currency designers have sought to be sensitive to the needs of the visually impaired. Although trade-offs among goals sometimes have forced compromises, new technologies promise banknotes that are both more difficult to counterfeit and more accessible to the visually impaired. Among the world's currencies, U.S. banknotes are the notes most widely used outside their country of issue and thus require special consideration.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcela M. Williams & Richard G. Anderson, 2007. "Currency design in the United States and abroad: counterfeit deterrence and visual accessibility," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 371-414.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2007:i:sep:p:371-414:n:v.89no.5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hans de Heij, 2006. "Public feed back for better banknote design," DNB Working Papers 104, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kylie Springer & Priya Subramanian & Terence Turton, 2015. "Australian Banknotes: Assisting People with Vision Impairment," RBA Bulletin, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages 01-12, March.
    2. Frank A.G. den Butter & Stefan P.T. Groot & Faroek Lazrak, 2007. "The Transaction Costs Perspective on Standards as a Source of Trade and Productivity Growth," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-090/3, Tinbergen Institute.

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    Keywords

    Paper money design - United States ; Money;

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