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Switzerland's Augmented Reality Banknotes: A Blend of Design, Security, and Technology


Switzerland, a country renowned for its impeccable design and innovative technology, has once again set a benchmark in the realm of currency. Since 2016, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) has been on a quest to revolutionize its banknotes, culminating in the latest release of the 100-franc note. To complement these sophisticated new banknotes, an augmented-reality (AR) app has been introduced, offering users an immersive insight into the banknotes' design and security features.

A Journey Through Design

Swiss banknotes have long been a canvas for the nation's rich design heritage, characterized by simple, effective lines and typography. The new series, designed by the award-winning Swiss graphic designer Manuela Pfrunder, deviates from traditional portraits to instead celebrate Switzerland's core values. Each note is a masterpiece, illustrating a characteristic aspect of the nation with a unique main motif and dominant color.    

The Augmented Reality Experience

The "Swiss Banknotes" app, developed by the SNB and available on both the App Store and Google Play, brings these banknotes to life. Using your smartphone or tablet's camera, the app reveals the intricate graphic motifs and security features through animations and enlarged images. While it's not a tool for verifying authenticity, it provides a fascinating look at the innovation behind these notes.    

Security Meets Art

The security features of these banknotes are as innovative as their design. Developed in collaboration with Landqart, the Durasafe substrate consists of a polymer core sandwiched between two cotton paper layers, adorned with numerous security elements. A notable feature is the globe on the front of the note, which changes color or reveals a golden arc movement when tilted, a testament to the SNB's commitment to both aesthetics and security.

A Note for Every Value

The new series showcases themes central to Swiss identity, with each denomination highlighting a specific aspect:

  • 10 Francs: Focus on Switzerland's organizational talent, symbolized by time and the precision of the Swiss rail network.
  • 20 Francs: Celebrates Swiss creativity, with light as the main motif, reflecting the nation's innovative spirit.
  • 50 Francs: Embodies the wealth of experiences Switzerland offers, with wind representing the country's adventurous side.
  • 200 Francs: Highlights Switzerland's scientific expertise, with matter as the key motif, a nod to the nation's contribution to global science.


The Making of a Series

The journey to the new series was competitive, with Manuela Pfrunder's designs ultimately selected for their suitability and innovative approach. This decision followed a public pushback against initial designs, showcasing the democratic nature of Switzerland's design process. The delayed release of the notes, due to technical challenges, only added to the anticipation and eventual reception of these modern masterpieces.


Switzerland's new banknotes are more than just currency; they are a celebration of Swiss values, design, and technological prowess. The accompanying AR app provides a window into the meticulous detail and thought put into each note, blending the physical and digital in a way that enriches our understanding of currency. As these banknotes circulate, they carry with them the essence of Switzerland, a testament to the nation's enduring legacy of innovation and design.


Want to see the bank notes for yourself?     
You're in luck, we have all the bank notes available here at Arrowtokyo in our Switzerland banknote category!


The app to view the AR is as follows


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