QR codes, or Quick Response codes, are becoming more and more common and are often seen in advertising and marketing media. A QR code is a two dimensional barcode which requires a QR reading device such as a smartphone to link directly to the information stored within the code, which can be websites, emails, texts and phone numbers to name a few.
There has been growing interest in the use of QR codes as a security feature on currency, with the Royal Dutch Mint producing a limited edition of QR coded coins last year.
In spring 2011, Sveriges Riksbank, the Central Bank of Sweden, held a competition to design their new banknotes, and decided that Göran Österlund’s “Kulturresan/Cultural journey” designs be the artistic starting point for the new banknotes. Interestingly, Österlund included QR codes within each denomination design, however Sveriges Riksbank has since stated that it “would be neither practical nor appropriate from a security standpoint” and consequently will not be including QR codes in their designs.
In an industry where security and reputation are key points when designing new banknote designs, it is not surprising that QR codes have not yet been utilised due to their new technology. However, it will be interesting to see if their use is researched further to make it a security feature considered worthy of a banknote by Central Banks.