How much money is there in the whole world? In real cash terms, there’s about six trillion dollars being used each day in banknotes and coins changing hands. And every year the volume of banknotes increases, as economies worldwide develop and trade in ever greater numbers. In the last quarter of the century, central banks around the world are taking advantage of the significant benefits and value that plastic money offers. Now 24 countries, and counting, are using a breakthrough technology known as Guardian® polymer. I think the technology of the polymer is quite good, it doesn’t tear. It seems like more quality. So how do they make it? The process starts in a highly secure location at Innovia Films, who manufacture the base film called Clarity®C. It all begins with clear pellets of polymer that are fed into the top of this very tall machine and melted. As the liquid polymer flows downwards, the film is formed by creating the world’s largest bubble – that’s four stories high. There’s gravity on the outside of the bubble and air pressure on the inside. The bubble is so large that we can only show portions of it. The liquid polymer at the top of the bubble is stretched into a delicate but highly robust material, manufactured to a thickness that’s made exclusively for banknotes. As it cools towards the bottom of the bubble, Clarity®C becomes a solid film structure that’s rolled into large reels. Each one is nine kilometres long. The reels of Clarity®C film are then delivered to Innovia Security in either Australia, Mexico or the United Kingdom. Where they transform the film into banknotes substrate by preparing the surface for printing and embedding security features into the polymer structure. The base film and the addition of high-tech security features is what makes Guardian® so unique. Polymer banknotes have a three-dimensional structure as opposed to paper, which is a flat two-dimensional structure. As Innovia Security’s R&D scientists work in the micro to nano range, this three dimensional space gets larger and larger. And in that space is embedded leading edge technology, which is designed to stay well ahead of the capabilities of the counterfeiter. Guardian® polymer is a platform of a combination of advanced security features. Central banks will select a combination of features from the world’s leading manufacturers of security technology. There’s a wide range of security features in the market. The key for the note-using public is that these features deliver large and obvious visuals, making it easy for the public to authenticate a note. Some of the highly advanced technology being used on polymer banknotes today includes: Latitude®, which uses silver nano coatings printed on a structure that diffracts light in a bold and obvious manner. And Aurora®, in which ink pigments are manipulated in such a way to create dramatic colour shifts. Easily visible to the eye but extraordinarily difficult for a counterfeiter to imitate. Then it’s off to the printing companies that print each currency and denomination into the Guardian® polymer to turn it into a banknote. Guardian® polymer banknotes have been at the forefront of currency innovation and performance since 1988. And are now commonly used around the world. What are your thoughts on the polymer currency? Very clean. Quality. It’s really nice.