Nov 17th update: Happy to say I finally got a chance to play with my new Canada polymer C$100 bill (with video).
June 20, 2011 Update: Today (June 20th), the Bank of Canada actually shows us the new polymer $100 notes. I’ve more coverage and technical analysis (with video) here in “Canada New Polymer $100 Notes in Nov 2011 – Now your money is smooth & will bounce!“
March 13, 2011 Update: I’ve got confirmation from BoC on Friday afternoon the Guardian® (supplied by Securency International) is indeed the polymer substrate to be used in the new plastic banknotes. By the way, for some reason Securency International‘s website seems to be down for the last few days.
It was nice to have an informative phone interview with a Bank of Canada representative this morning about the newly announced plastic banknote (see my lengthy post here). As expected, I was unable to get an official confirmation of whether the Guardian® polymer substrate (supplied by Securency International) will be used. At the same time, I’ve now gathered enough evidences to convince myself that the Guardian® substrate or an enhanced version of it will be used in Canada. After all, the Bank confirmed that they are using “industry proven technology” (the keyword here is “proven”) and stated in its public release,
“As part of its ongoing technology research program with its partners, the Bank has developed some new security features and adapted other existing features for the Canadian context.” [K: so it can be an "enhanced" version if Securency want to do some more testing on the "improvements" first?]
It should be noted that I know banks don’t usually like to talk about their security systems in detail. Many banks still believe (falsely) that the less we know, the more secure their systems are. Not true! I believe that good security has to be based on solid science and careful implementations. And “security by obscurity” is never enough nor secure.
Enough from me, if you are technical and want to learn more, I’ve found some Securency patents for you to study and learn from. As I wrote in a 2006 article as a side comment,
“For the patent geek out there, [...] thanks to “2165 The Best Mode Requirement” of the MPEP, patent is required to disclose the “best mode” to make this device thus making the patent an interesting read.“
Some US patents by Securency:
* 7,871,741 , Method of producing diffractive structures in security documents
* 7,790,361 , Methods of producing diffractive structures in security documents
* 7,652,757 , Method and apparatus for inspection of security articles incorporating a diffractive optical projection element
* 7,488,002 , Security and/or value document
* 7,040,664 , Self-verifying security documents
* 7,029,733 , Printed matter producing reflective intaglio effect
* 6,995,383 , Method of verifying the authenticity of a security document and document for use in such a method
Some US Patents by others that contain the keyword “Securency”:
* 7,820,282 (3M), Foam security substrate
* 7,655,296 (3M), Ink-receptive foam article
You can do the USPTO Patent search yourself for Securency to read more. Or you can use the Google patents search for Securency where you can download patents and patent applications with text and diagrams in PDF files (pretty handy).