Oberthur Fiduciaire: When art and technology are at the service of trust

Fruits of advanced technologies, many banknotes used daily in Europe are manufactured by Oberthur Fiduciaire. This French company is thus part of a very closed circle. Here’s why.

Eleven print shops spread across the continent share the printing and securing of the banknotes that we use every day. Little known to the general public, this world apart obeys the strictest rules. Banknote manufacturers have even become true goldsmiths. Indeed, the design is both complex and aesthetic, aiming to reflect the common identity of a united Europe. Combining art and technology, they follow several printing processes (offset, intaglio, hot transfer for holograms, screen printing for changing colors) which allows them to embed several anti-tampering devices. Then they undergo numerous tests before landing in our portfolio. In the very closed circle of these manufacturers, a historic French company has carved out a solid reputation: Oberthur Fiduciaire.

Fiducia Regna: Oberthur Fiduciary or the reign of trust

It was to François-Charles Oberthur that we owe the creation of the printing press in 1842. A century later, the company began its partnership with the Banque de France to print francs. But the real turning point of the modern era came in 1984 when Jean-Pierre Savare bought this company from Rennes. Since then, François-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire has experienced exceptional growth, working in Europe but also internationally, for the production of secure banknotes. Today, the company is a French technological flagship with three production sites in Europe, a production capacity of five billion banknotes, and 1,300 highly qualified employees.

With the arrival of the euro in 2002, the last two decades have established Oberthur’s position on the European and international scene. The fiduciary business – trust means confidence in Latin – is now part of the world’s Top 3 and exports its know-how to more than 70 countries around the world. And it’s not by chance. In a field as sensitive as the fiduciary industry, manufacturers like Oberthur must show their credentials and respect draconian standards. Their reputation and the trust placed in them by the most scrupulous of clients: the central banks are at stake.

For all players in this industry, the issue of international certificates is therefore crucial: “ It is essential to adopt international standards established by third parties in which all actors trustassures Thomas Savare, CEO of Oberthur Fiduciaire. To this end, we aligned ourselves with the ISO standards, their implementation is in my eyes a much more relevant argument than all the declarations of intent that we could have made. Oberthur has therefore spared no effort to give all the guarantees of the quality of its services and products: quality (ISO 9001 and Living Heritage Company label), safety (ISO 14398, OEA-Full), environment (ISO 14001, ISO 50001), personal health and safety (ISO 45001), anti-corruption business ethics (ISO 37001), CSR (ISO 26000) and information security (ISO 27001). Everything is there.

In-house know-how

Oberthur Fiduciaire did not build its reputation overnight. The company has invested heavily in research and development to raise production and quality standards. For example, it has patented some 17 innovations, all essential to guarantee both the durability of banknotes and their inviolability: among them, an antiviral treatment (Bioguard) particularly effective against Covid-19, new generation 3D yarns (Relief), movement security threads (Pulsar), anti-scanner security backgrounds (Labyrinth), security elements based on liquid crystals (Starsheen) or moiré effect with color iridescence (Arc-en-ciel). It is all these cutting-edge technologies that make each banknote true little works of art.

The company’s customers – the central banks therefore – have an essential objective: security. Some devices developed by Oberthur are very popular, their performance ensuring an unequaled level of security against the risks still posed by counterfeiters. Oberthur’s CEO is categorical: ” We must not only stay one step ahead of our competitors, but also of the counterfeiters and counterfeiters against whom we are engaged in a real race of speed.. Admittedly, paper money has already existed for centuries, but today’s banknotes have almost nothing in common with those of yesteryear. They are real concentrates of technology and the fruit of permanent innovation. Proud of its innovations, the French company highlights, for example, unique security elements in the world such as Avalon, SecuriCoatUltra or HD Vision.

With great power comes great responsibility

All these technological innovations are also aligned with the imperatives of CSR (corporate social responsibility) which are now essential. This is another lever of confidence for the French company’s customers. In addition to the ISO 26000 label, Oberthur Fiduciaire has implemented a sustainable management system called Earth 265, inspired by the most stringent standards in terms of sustainable development. ” Deeply anchored in our history and our values, and attested by international labels, our CSR commitment is present throughout the group.continues Thomas Savare. It is at the heart of our management, our anti-corruption approach, our social policy, and of course, our environmental actions. Between 2014 and 2021, for example, the carbon footprint of banknote production has fallen by 60%.

It is also for environmental reasons that Oberthur continues to produce banknotes from cotton fiber and not from polymer like some of its competitors: “ It would have been against our commitment to the environmentestimates Etienne Couëlle, managing director of the company. Simply put, polymer is plastic. It is therefore very difficult to recycle and does not have properties intrinsically superior to those of paper. Made from renewable raw materials of vegetable origin, the paper ticket can be recycled in complete safety. Recycling is indeed one of the areas where the company has stepped up its efforts, 80% of the waste from the Rennes plant being recycled.

No. 1 manufacturer of euro banknotes, the French company is fully aware of its responsibility in the monetary landscape of the Old Continent. Since the introduction of the single currency in 2002, the euro has been a guarantee of financial credibility, for Europe and for the rest of the world. ” Euro banknotes are here to stayassures Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank (ECB). They are a tangible and visible symbol that we stand together in Europe, especially in times of crisis, and they are always in high demand.. And the ECB also plans to give them a facelift: “ It’s time to revamp the look of our banknotes to make them more accessible to Europeans of all ages and backgrounds “, also specified Christine Lagarde last December. Over the past six months, speculation has therefore been rife regarding the next design of European banknotes, with the ECB evoking Leonardo da Vinci and Simone Veil, the Austrian designer of the first version of the banknotes, Robert Kalina, thinking about Mozart or Beethoven. . ” We want to develop euro banknotes that Europeans can identify with, and that they will be proud to use as their currency “, confirms Fabio Panetta, member of the Executive Board of the ECB. The opportunity to organize a graphic design competition in order to bring banknotes a little closer to citizens. Place your bets…

Catherine Dumont

https://linitiative.ca/oberthur-fiduciaire-quand-art-et-la-technologie-sont-au-service-de-la-confiance/https://linitiative.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Oberthur-Fiduciary.jpghttps://linitiative.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Oberthur-Fiduciary-150×150.jpgadminfinanceFruits of advanced technologies, many banknotes used daily in Europe are manufactured by Oberthur Fiduciaire. This French company is thus part of a very closed circle. Here’s why. Eleven print shops spread across the continent share the printing and securing of the banknotes that we use…The economic, cultural and social reference newspaper in Montreal and Quebec

Leave a Comment