After launching the new Australian decimal system of currency in 1966, a major counterfeit fraud involving the $10 note was detected within the first 12 months of circulation.
The incident led the government and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to look at ways of combating this threat.
Working with the government's scientific department, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the University of Melbourne, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) invested around $20m over the next two decades to develop a new paradigm in currency security.
Guardian® polymer banknotes, often referred to as ‘plastic money’, were first issued in Australia in 1988 - the year of the nation's bicentenary. The foremost commemorative $10 note contained both the first transparent window and first hologram of any type, making it the most secure banknote of its time. After being successfully received by the public, the RBA introduced a $5 note for general circulation in 1992 followed by successive notes in the years following. Throughout the 1990s, Guardian® banknote substrate steadily grew in popularity throughout the world, with the innovative polymer-based technology gaining the trust and confidence of more than 30 Central Banks to either adopt Guardian® for use in mainstream denominations or as a commemorative note as a test and forerunner to future use.
In 1996, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and Innovia Films entered into a joint venture to create Securency International, an arrangement that was concluded in February 2013 when Innovia acquired the RBA's 50% share in the business. The RBA proved an outstanding partner in helping Securency establish itself in the global banknote industry during a period in which some of the world's most successful companies including 3M and Mobil also attempted to enter the banknote substrate market but were unable to do so.
With a heritage of innovation and technical expertise that makes Guardian® the world's most sophisticated banknote substrate, Innovia Security is at the forefront of change and influence in an industry that has remained paper-based and relatively static for around 300 years.
Innovia Security today is an organisation unified in its vision of making Guardian® the leading solution to banknote counterfeit prevention. The world's most progressive Central Banks have come to rely on Guardian® for its ability to significantly reduce counterfeit activity, significantly increase the working life of the note, and provide strong public health benefits.