What is the WBP?

The World Banknote Project – What is it?

The World Banknote Project (WBP) is an IBDA-driven initiative in partnership with the world’s banknote designer community. Our role is to facilitate the free and creative expression of banknote designer’s vision of what the future banknote will look like.

Oscar Wilde once wrote; ‘to define is to limit’. For this reason we will not impose the current range of technical limitations or parametres on the WBP participants since their mission is to present to us their vision of the future, not today and in the future, we do not know what technical possibilities will exist.

Banknote industry actors are fully aware of the massive change taking place on the global payments landscape and the WBP initiative has been developed to proactively encourage banknote designers to embrace this change and think ‘out-of-the-box’ when imagining what their future will look like.

We are experiencing a fundamental transition in the use of cash across the world as part of an emerging multi-payment economy. The payments landscape will continue to include cash as a payments tool but all actors need to modernise how cash is used. This will not only involve central banks, commercial banks, cash processing service providers. It will ultimately put a whole new set of requirements on all of us and the design of a banknote will be a critical factor that determines the position occupies by cash in this emerging global multi-payment economy.

Never before has banknote design had such an important role to play in defining the position occupied by cash in this new multi-payment economy. This must be everyone’s highest priority and to survive and succeed in this new payments landscape we must put aside our competitive tendencies and learn to work together in a way we have never done before. Our collective challenge is to ensure that cash continues to be demanded by all users and the WBP has been developed to allow designers express how they believe they can contribute to this.


Who Will Be Interested in the WBP?

The WBP will be of interest to the following groups:


Central Bankers


Technology Developers


The WBP – Why Are We Doing it?

To date all IBDA activity (and that of other industry organisations, conferences etc.) has been to present what has been achieved and what the current state of play is. The WBP will project us all into the future and allow us to catch a glimpse of what the banknote of the future may look like.

In essence the WBP is a platform to facilitate designers produce their banknote and for the first time ever (for most designers) produce a banknote design and concept that captures their wealth of experience, knowledge, passion and dreams for the future.