SBP to ensure banknote security features : Five videos and a smartphone application launched for the purpose`

KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), as a part of its campaign “Rupay ko Pehchano”, launched videos and a smartphone application on the security features of currency notes in a ceremony attended by high-ranking officials of the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and presidents and senior executives of the commercial banks.

The videos and smartphone application were aimed at enhancing public awareness and understanding of the currency notes’ security features thus enabling the public to easily differentiate between genuine and fake notes. A total of 5 videos have been developed, one each for Rs5000, Rs1000, and Rs500 notes, and one for Rs10, Rs20, Rs50 and Rs100 notes and the fifth highlights the security features of all the currency notes in circulation.

The smart phone application, downloadable from both Apple and Android platforms, gives information on security features of the currency notes both in descriptive and pictorial forms.

SBP Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra, while launching the videos and smartphone application said that SBP has adopted a three pronged strategy to combat counterfeiting which involves enhancing the security features of our currency notes to make counterfeiting even more difficult, besides using machines for the cash processing function in the banking system to ensure that no fake notes pass through the banking system; and creating awareness amongst the general public about the security features of the currency notes to help them differentiate between genuine and fake notes.

He said that under the strategy some advanced security features were being added in the higher denomination currency notes of Rs.500 and above and that these notes with enhanced security features, after the Federal Government’s approval, would be available for issuance by third quarter of Calendar Year 16, adding that, a comprehensive cash management strategy has been issued to automate banks’ cash processing functions by January 2017.

SBP itself is in the process of installing state-of-the-art high-speed banknote processing machines at SBP BSC Karachi and other important regions across the country, he added.

Ashraf said that the key deterrent against currency counterfeiting was the public awareness about the security features of currency notes. The smartphone application being launched would enable millions of smartphone users in the country to have complete information about the security features, he said. The videos would be a major tool for enhancing public awareness, which would be placed on SBP and banks’ websites and would also be used in currency seminars in Chambers of Commerce, trade bodies, schools, colleges and universities across the country, he added.

The banks would also make arrangements to show the videos on TVs in the waiting areas of their branches and a shorter version of these videos would also be aired on PTV and other TV channels as a public service message.

Highlighting the critical role of LEAs in combating currency counterfeiting, the governor said that without the active and meaningful support of LEAs, these initiatives would only be partly successful.”I will thus strongly urge the law enforcement agencies to strengthen their capacity in this area, create specialised cells, and build strong intelligence and surveillance system to catch the counterfeiters and their networks,” he said. He assured the SBP’s full support and assistance to the LEAs in building such capacity.

Ashraf also gave assurance to the public that all the necessary measures were being taken to check counterfeiting and to maintain the integrity of the nations’ currency notes. He urged the public to take full advantage of these videos and the smartphone application to enhance their understanding about security features of the notes. He emphasised that the public should report the counterfeit currency to law enforcing agencies without fear as it was part of the publics’ national duty, which should be fulfilled diligently.

 

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