Swiss National Bank postpones Issueing Date for New Banknotes Series

The project for Swiss new banknotes from the SNB has run into unforeseen issues it seems. From the February 17 press release (emphasis mine):

Intensive efforts are underway at the Swiss National Bank (SNB) on the preparatory work for its new banknote series. The project activities have revealed that additional development work will bring improvements as regards those technological security features which are being used for the first time. However, this will take time, and as a result the project will need to be rescheduled. The SNB still intends to replace existing banknotes with a new series. Given the high security standard of the banknote series currently in circulation, however, there is no urgent need for replacement. To allow time for the additional development processes, the SNB is postponing the issue date of the new banknote series, which had originally been scheduled for autumn 2010. The SNB expects that the first note of the new series can be issued in 2012. As mentioned in previous announcements, the new banknote series, which had originally been scheduled for autumn 2010. The SNB expects that the first note of the new series can be issued in 2012.

Hum, interesting from a project management point of view. The banknotes were scheduled to be introduced in autumn 2010 and only in spring 2010 did they find out that their schedule was too ambitious?

One might think that preparations have already been made and costs incurred by banks in upgrading their ATMs and public transports by upgrading their ticket vending machines to be able to cope with the new banknotes. Now just 6 month before the SNB pulls the plug, for at least two years.

The highlighted sentence above might point to a serious flaw in the security of the new banknotes that requires them to go back to the drawing board or requires an upgrade in printing press technologies, or both. However, that’s only speculation.

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