Switzerland began updating its notes starting with the 50 franc note in April 2016. It then issued the new 20 franc note in May 2017, and the new 10 in October 2017.
The newest note to grace Swiss wallets, pockets and purses is the 200 franc note, which was launched on 22 August 2018.
Switzerland’s ninth banknote series moves away from the depiction of well-known personalities instead depicting typically Swiss characteristics. Each characteristic is communicated via an action, a Swiss location and other graphic elements, which include a hand, a globe and an object.
Instead of the portrait of the nineteenth century Swiss writer Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz on the current note, the new 200 reflects Switzerland’s scientific expertise.
The move away from famous faces fits well with a culture that tends not to dwell on high profile personalities, something reflected in Swiss politics. Rather than a president, Switzerland has a seven-member executive – Swiss “presidents” are only figure heads with no more constitutional power than the other six members of the Federal Council. And they change every year.
To help explain the special features of the new notes the Swiss National Bank has created a mobile app (shown in the video above) that shows the security features. A bit like Pokemon Go, the app overlays pictures and text over the physical note.
The app doesn’t verify note authenticity but shows what to check and explains some of the artwork.
There are now only two Swiss notes left to revamp: the 100 and 1,000 franc notes.