Crises keep demand for cash high, ticket firm says

There is still plenty of life left in the traditional banknote, printing company Koenig & Bauer Banknote Solutions said, with the coronavirus and war in Ukraine driving up demand for paper money despite competition from other forms of payment.

It is estimated that nearly 90% of banknotes worldwide are printed at least in part by the company’s machines, with paper money production levels increasing despite the rise of online payments, digital currencies and contactless payment methods.

“The banknotes were there from the start and are still there,” said chief executive Eric Boissonnas, as the company celebrated its 70th anniversary of operating in Switzerland.

“We now see a 2-5% increase in their use each year and we expect the same for the next 10-15 years.”

Its machines are used by virtually every country in the world, helping to produce US Dollars, Swiss Francs, Euros and other currencies that have the latest security features to protect against counterfeiting.

“During Covid, ticket production must have increased because demand was much higher,” Boissonnas said.

“If we look at the region around Ukraine, the demand for banknotes has multiplied,” he told Reuters. “As soon as there is a crisis, people take cash to be sure they can pay in all situations.”

The company, which is now part of the German group Koenig & Bauer, was established in Lausanne in 1952, where it now employs 140 people.

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