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The rouble in goal

[07.05.2018 11:35:00]
The rouble in goal [07.05.2018 11:35:00]

New banknotes will be put into circulation on the occasion of 2018 FIFA World Cup, and by the end of the year, it will be possible to find out the ins and outs of any gem or ring bought in a jewelry store, with the help of a QR-code.

Arkady Trachuk, Head of Goznak: the circulation of souvenir banknotes is quite small as a rule. Photo: RIA Novosti

Arkady Trachuk, General Director of Goznak, a company protecting the rouble against counterfeiting for two hundred years, told Rossiyskaya Gazeta about the campaign against counterfeiters, whether cash remains in circulation and about marking of goods.

- Goznak is preparing new commemorative banknotes for 2018 FIFA World Cup. What is their face value?

Arkady Trachuk: They will be banknotes with the face value of 100 roubles. I cannot announce the exact date of their issue; the Bank of Russia will determine it. It is fair to assume that it will happen before World Cup opening.

The number of pieces of the souvenir 100-rouble banknote will be announced at the presentation at the end of May

Is it known how many pieces of the banknote will be issued?

Arkady Trachuk: The number of pieces of the souvenir 100-rouble banknote will be announced at the banknote presentation expected at the end of May already. Commemorative banknotes are made according to special principles. Their number is limited a priori, and it is relatively small as a rule.

The line of defence

The 200- and 2000-rouble banknotes have turned out to be so popular and rear in our purses that they are sometimes used as souvenirs. Are we safe from deficit of the new money?

Arkady Trachuk: The rarity of the new banknotes is explained easily not so many of them have been printed so far, to compare to the old denominations. There will be more and more of them with time, and they will gradually replace the banknotes in circulation today. There will be somewhat fewer 5000-rouble banknotes, slightly more 2000-rouble ones. It is a normal and natural course.

Is it planned to renew the whole row in the new style?

Arkady Trachuk: It will happen sooner or later. The design is also a security feature of the banknote, just like others.

Therefore, the design should be renovated at times.

It is quite likely that the style of the 200- and 2000-rouble banknotes will be taken into account during the renewal of the design of the old face values.

How often are banknotes renovated?

Arkady Trachuk: The security features are renovated not less often than once in five years. The design is certainly more conservative.

present design has been used for quite a long time already; the present-day banknotes of the city series are more than 20 years old already, the first of them appeared in 1995. The design changes are clearly imminent. However, it will happen in an orderly fashion, when the new variants of design and new security features are ready.

It is for the Bank of Russia to take final decision about the issue, the design and everything else. And it will announce these changes.

it yourself!

Is it possible to create a banknote that cannot be counterfeited?

Arkady Trachuk: We are not facing a task like that. The banknotes are counterfeited as thoroughly as they are checked.

For example, if a counterfeit is to be used in unprepared retail, for example, markets, small shops, they will try to counterfeit the features people pay most attention to in such conditions watermarks, security features changing colour or images, other bright visual elements. On the other hand, if a counterfeit is to be loaded into the ATM, then they will counterfeit other, machine-readable features, i.e. those the accepting device of the ATM will control.

Our task is to make the security as complex as possible. Even if we suppose that a counterfeit is accepted at a certain stage, it will be easily sorted out at the next stage and thus will not inflict considerable damage.

At the same time, we should strive for making even the least prepared person able to doubt its authenticity taking a counterfeited banknote. By the way, Banknotes 2017 application we developed for checking 200- and 2000-rouble banknotes can help him in that.

Can one check banknotes with other face values too? ?

Arkady Trachuk: We are working upon that. There are many nuances there. For example, there are solutions we could realize at relatively powerful mobile devices; however, they are not effective enough at budget-oriented smartphones. It is not right to issue a product functioning at top models only.

We launched the program in January 2018. We will definitely need half a year for collecting statistics and analysis. Refinement will take some time too. I suppose we are speaking about the coming year. By the way, the application has been downloaded over 4.5 million times as of today. >

The electronic rouble

In your opinion, will the standard money be replaced with the electronic equivalent soon? Will that time come?

Arkady Trachuk: The story is ambiguous. For example, the coins are a few thousand years old already. When banknotes appeared, everybody thought that coins should die. However, since the moment when the banknotes were widely spread, i.e. the end of the 18th century, it still hasnt happened. In their turn, the electronic payment means are only appearing now, they have yet to prove their efficiency, feasibility and reliability.

In my opinion, turning of the tide will be the solution of the Central Bank to issue money in the electronic shape in its own right and as its liability. When and if it happens, we will be able to say that along with coins and banknotes, there has appeared a payment instrument equal in strength that can replace the existing payment instruments to a large extent in the future. There already are discussions in this field in the working groups of the national emitters in different countries, in particular, in the Latin America and Europe. The first practical experiment was completed in Ecuador not long ago. It was not successful this time.

On the other hand, we realize that in spite of the development of all technical solutions, the electronic payment instruments depend on the infrastructure. Just like anything else people create, it can break down; this property appears especially in emergencies. All the experience of the state institutions functioning during various natural or manmade disasters shows that it is impossible to do without cash.

I dont believe that cash can be replaced with non-cash instruments in the foreseeable future. Statistics witnesses the same thing the quantity of cash in circulation in the world grows by 2 5 per cent every year.

To throw a coin

Which commemorative coins are to be issued?

Arkady Trachuk: Speaking about the new coins in 2018, I would like to mention a new commemorative coin dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Goznak, first of all. We are celebrating the companys jubilee in September.

What is the procedure of a commemorative coins release? What does it start with?

Arkady Trachuk: First of all, the Bank of Russia forms the perspective plan of coins release. Thus, the plan for 2019 is already published. We develop the designs of the coins within the framework of the plan. Our center develops not only the picture, but also the design concept together with the substantiation of the choice made as well as the historical note.

Then we send all that to the Bank of Russia, where there is a special committee preliminarily approving the design variants offered and adding its corrections if necessary. The Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia approves the designs and characteristics finally.

Then a sample is manufactured and approved by the regulator again. After that, we start minting the coin.

The ready coin mintage is delivered to the Bank of Russia, and it starts distributing it. According to the law, commercial banks and Goznak should be the first coin buyers. After them, anybody can buy it.

How long does it usually take from the idea up to putting the coin into circulation?

Arkady Trachuk: : In the normal mode, it usually takes about a year. Of course, there can also be rush jobs, but in any case the whole process does not take less than a few months.

Money for export

Goznak supplies products to 25 countries. Why do they address you?

Arkady Trachuk: First of all, because Goznak is competent in all the fields of banknote and coin production. Moreover, our prices are competitive.

We have an opportunity of complete renovation of the whole banknote row of a country, including both banknotes and coins. We executed an order like that for Angola. On the other hand, we often execute smaller orders. Some countries need banknote paper only recently we make paper, others are interested in ready banknotes we make complete banknotes for them. Some of the customers are interested in our technologies and know-how we sell licenses for their application to them. Others need solutions connected with machine processing we develop machine-readable features and sensors for them. Some clients are interested in identification documents in this field, we offer both the document itself and the whole system of its issue and further circulation.

The style of the new 200- and 2000-rouble banknotes will be taken into account when the design of the old banknotes is renovated

Who are our greatest competitors at tenders?

Arkady Trachuk: There are competitors, and there are quite many of them English, German, French, American, Polish. Those are private companies, and international orders are the main source of profit for them. There are also state-run manufacturers, like Goznak, also with work experience in the international market. Their offers are less complex than ours, but in certain matters connected with paper supplies, banknote printing or coin minting they are serious competitors for us.

There are about ten players in the market, and Goznak occupies quite a noticeable place among them. Speaking about the share in the international commercial market of banknotes, it comprises about 11 12 per cent. In 2017, Goznak entered the world top 3 exporters.

A rouble with diamonds

Goznak will receive the functions of the operator and developer of the informational system of control of turnover of precious metals and stones. What is it for, and what is its main point of the marking experiment?

Arkady Trachuk: The key story here is not only or not so much about tracing a certain product. It is much more important to provide the control of raw materials.

Precious metals and stones can circulate in the market for a considerable time till they are sold to a customer, they can change their condition. Ready-made rings, for example, can be disaggregated in order to be remelted, can undergo affinage (a process of clarification Editors note), and turn into gold of another alloy and so on. The situation with precious stones is similar.

Today nobody understands how many jewelry pieces are sold. Products brought from abroad without hallmarks or even with counterfeited hallmarks are still on sale, for example. It does not necessarily mean that gold in such products is not real. However, these products are off books, so to say. That was why it was decided to mark precious metals and stones.

The new system will enable control of materials, change of their condition, products manufacture and their issue at all stages of production. It is worth mentioning that the system will have an opportunity of tracing another involvement of the jewelry piece into circulation or its turning into raw material for new production.

What will marking give to the market?

Arkady Trachuk: Marking will help honest players to be in more comfortable conditions, they will stop losing competitive advantage to not very honest players. Moreover, to tell you the truth, jewelry pieces can be involved into illegal financial operations one way or another. Additional control here is Russias fulfilling of an important obligation to Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering. On the whole, marking should solve the task of keeping transparency and reliability of all players in the market.

How can a buyer use the data indicated on marking?

Arkady Trachuk: An ordinary customer will be able to check and make sure that a certain marking indicates the exact product with the concrete parameters the hallmark, the weight, the inserts announced.

Detailed information about the product will be located at a special site in the internet for example, what kind of ring, who is the manufacturer, its parameters the weight and so on, if there is an insert with a stone, then the stone parameters. All that will be available after the mark is scanned with the help of a smartphone.

The size of the mark and its carrier are actively discussed today. It is possible to suppose that it may be a QR-code on the jewelry products tag.

We are planning to launch a pilot project in 2018 and announce the first results by the end of the year.

Goznak is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. How do you see the future of Goznak? What will you be engaged in in 10 years, in 50 years?

Arkady Trachuk: Let us speak about nearer future at first. We will launch a new papermaking machine at the Krasnokamsk Paper Mill of Goznak this September.

Its service life is over 25 years. We are planning to make high-security paper for the needs of central banks, issue separate kinds of security products during this period. The machine is efficient; it will enable us to increase the production capacities of papermaking by approximately 15 per cent. Its capacities are enough to fulfill the demand both within Russia and for export.

As for more distant future, I am sure that central banks will work out an approach to issuing national currencies in the electronic shape after a while. It will exert heavy influence on the market of banknotes and coins. Today I cannot say what the influence will be. Will cash become a collectible item instead of the payment instrument? Will the banknote production shift to commemorative products? The question is open.

Nevertheless, the way out is obvious for both Goznak and the banks. Any document has a record in the informational systems. The development of IT technologies and support of the corresponding infrastructure will be the basic direction in which we are working today already.

Taras Fomchenkov

Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta Federal Issue No. 7559 (96)
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