Numbers on Banknotes. What is their use.

DNB Betalingsverkeer
Publicatiedatum 20 september 2006

Serial numbers have been included on Dutch banknotes since they were first issued in 1814. The number, which is unique for each banknote, allows the note to be traced and identified. Early banknotes were numbered by a central bank clerk, in clearly legitable handwriting. Handwriting became obsolete around 1860 and letterpress numbering was introduced, using specially designed typographic fonts. In 1968 DNB was the first to introduce machine readable numbers on banknotes (OCR-B). It was also the first organisation to establish a database of all banknotes in circulation, requiring banknotes to be registrated by means of an automated reading process. In 1989 DNB was the first central bank to introduce barcodes on banknotes. The banknote identifier of tomorrow might be a chip rather than a printed serial number. This however depends on the stakeholders of a banknote identifier and the way they want to use it. (published with permission of Keesing Journal of Documents & Identity)