Some countries outsource currency printing
Plenty of cash is still being printed by governments across the globe, as currency continues to be critical to worldwide consumers. While countries continue to print bills, many no longer make them domestically - a major change from the past policies of some nations. According to The Washington Post, as of 2011 about half the countries in the world had outsourced at least some of their currency printing.
Outsourcing can be beneficial
Many private companies recognize the potential benefits associated with outsourcing and in recent decades, shipping work to factories overseas has become the norm. While not every country has taken advantage of this trend in regard to currency printing, many that have see the advantages and recognize potential in the process. Sometimes costs can be lower, especially in countries with notoriously high labor expenses. Other countries may lack the technical and economic capabilities to effectively print their own currency with the necessary security features, making it much easier for them to simply outsource the process. This can have a long-term benefit because it reduces counterfeiting problems that may be prevalent within a country with limited resources to print its own banknotes.
Drawbacks deter many countries
While some countries find there are benefits to currency outsourcing, others find the drawbacks and risks are too great and instead choose to continue producing their bills domestically. Incorrect designs are one potential risk - The Washington Post mentioned that officials in the Philippines noticed their president's name had been misspelled when they sent a currency order overseas in the early 2000s.
Others are concerned about currency security. Some politicians have voiced concern that cash printed in another country could be stolen by criminals or terrorists. It's also a possibility that the money could be taken by the country that prints it. In 2011, the United Kingdom seized Libyan currency that had been printed within England as a result of United Nations sanctions.
The United States is one country that hasn't taken the opportunity to outsource its currency printing. It prints all American bills domestically, while countries like China and Russia do the same, according to BBC News. This helps them mitigate risk and keep any special security designs a secret. However, these are also countries with the economic and technological resources necessary to produce currency without strong fears of illegal counterfeiting, making domestic production more beneficial than outsourcing.
June 21, 2013