Skip to content

Banknote 2.0 – The next piece of the mobile money infrastructure?

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Monday, January 10, 2011

In the world of mobile money, surely the humble banknote is still the ultimate token? Substituting itself for something physical – the UK’s “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of…” it’s a method that’s become accepted around the world, allows for different currency systems to interchange, and has the confidence of everyone who uses the notes.

Hey, don’t knock the basics of a system!

But one of the main reasons that confidence in notes is so high is that we can be pretty sure that any forged notes would be picked up by “the system” and that means that the technology in these paper slips needs to always be advancing.

So the news that a team of Japanese/German researchers have managed to make an electronic circuit equivalent to 100 transistors that can be placed on regular Euro, Dollar or Yen notes is not only intriguing as an anti-forging measure, but also in the ability to RFID tag every single banknote produced.

With the addition of RFID and Near Field Communication chips in countless smartphones, chip and pin machines and payment kiosks, the possibilities of doing stuff with RFID’s banknotes are just exciting. For sure anti-counterfeit tech is going to be high on the list, but what could the inventive minds of entrepreneurs get up to with the tech?

There’s a lot of promising infrastructure springing up to boost mobile money around the world, and perhaps the banknote is getting ready to join in as well.