The banknote printing industry is forecast to reach $11.2 billion by 2021

The global market size value for banknote printing is forecasted to increase from $9.5 billion in 2016 to $11.2 billion in 2021 at a CAGR of 3.3%, according to the latest analysis from Smithers Pira.

Smithers Pira’s new report – The Future of Banknotes to 2021 – delivers original and comprehensive insight into this changing segment. To accurately gauge the future demand for banknotes Smithers’ market assessment considers the competing demands of central banks and governments, state print works, and commercial banknote printers. This analysis simultaneously considers the adoption of alternative non-cash electronic payment media and rate of adoption by consumers to produce both qualitative and quantitative forecasts.

Annual reports of central banks all over the world share a common theme: less cash. Some central banks are pursuing policies intended to achieve a cashless society; others are more benign – merely mentioning the need to reduce the cash-to-GDP ratio. While the vision of a fully cashless society is utopian, and cash will remain the predominant method of payment for the near future, the drive for less cash is real and immediate.

Rude Lion report author

The expectation is that use of and demand for cash in the near future will decline in real terms. And for commercial high security printers this creates an onus on identifying and positioning themselves to exploit the remaining opportunities.

There is still value for companies that can achieve this – especially those supporting a new generation integrated security features and able to deliver economies over the medium term via more durable substrates. 

To highlight these within a comprehensive forecast of the banknote print market across the next five years, Smithers presents a full dataset for the global market in both value ($ million) and volume (tonnes). This data is segmented by geographic region, substrate format, and technology type – DOVIDs, inks, taggants, watermarking, threads, and print processes.

The Future of Banknotes to 2021 also applies a new perspective on growth in volume and expansion of currency in circulation to give a unique insight into this evolving market. This is done with reference to recent government actions that are disrupting banknote printing – such as India’s withdrawal of high value rupee notes in November 2016; and the introduction of polymer banknotes by the UK in September 2016.

The Future of Banknotes to 2021 is the product of extensive primary and secondary research. The primary research includes a wide-ranging expert interview programme including public and private sector organisations drawn from across the worldwide banknote printing industry.

This work is complimented and contextualised by secondary research drawing on a thorough literature analysis of market and company reports, magazine and journal abstracts, conference presentations and papers, international print and manufacturer associations, and trade press. This process combined with Smithers’ deep expertise in the security print sector allows it to produce a report that gives unique insight into the evolution of this vital and lucrative market.


The Future of Banknotes to 2021 is available for £4,500.

For press enquiries or a more detailed article, please contact Julie Bostock:

Tel: +44 (0) 1372 802 035  jbostock@smithers.com

Smithers Pira is the worldwide authority on packaging, paper and print industry supply chains. Established in 1930, Smithers Pira provides strategic and technical consulting, testing, intelligence and events to help clients gain market insights, identify opportunities, evaluate product performance and manage compliance.