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Unveiled: Here is the new Swiss 100-franc banknote

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Unveiled: Here is the new Swiss 100-franc banknote
The eagerly anticipated note. Photo: SNB
10:30 CEST+02:00
On Tuesday, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) unveiled the country’s new 100-franc note in an event that received the sort of media coverage usually reserved for Oscar nominations or Champions League draws.

The new 100-franc note is the latest and last in the award-winning 'ninth series' of Swiss bills and follows on from the March release of the coveted but controversial 1,000-franc note – one of the highest denomination bills in the world.

Like the old version, the new 100-franc note is blue. However, as with the other ‘ninth series’ notes, it is smaller than its predecessor and comes packed with 15 special security features designed to combat forgery.

Bundles of joy: The new Swiss 100-franc notes. Photo: Swiss National Bank

Like its fellow notes in the new series, the new 100-franc bill also represents one of ‘the many facets of Switzerland.' In this case, the country’s humanitarian tradition is represented by a water motif.

Read also: Eight all-too-easy ways to spend Switzerland's new 100-franc notes

One hundred-franc notes are the most common denomination in Switzerland. One of them will buy you dinner for two at a moderately-priced restaurant as long as you don't go overboard on drinks. 

There were 133,905,125 of the bills floating around last year according to the SNB. That is 28.4 percent of all Swiss banknotes.

The current 100-franc notes will remain legal tender for the foreseeable future, according to the Swiss National Bank.

Cash-loving Swiss

The excitement around the arrival of the new 100-franc note, which will go into circulation on September 12th, is a sign of just how much the Swiss still love cash.

While the recent Swiss Payment Monitor shows debit cards are the most popular form of payment in Switzerland overall, accounting for 29 percent of all expenditures, nearly half of all payments (48 percent) are still made in cash.

This means Switzerland is worlds apart from increasingly cashless Sweden where just 13 percent of all purchases are made using notes and coins.

The Swiss also tend to carry money around with them – 80 francs (around €73) on average – and value the fact that physical money does not leave a data trail.

Speaking at a press conference for the unveiling of the 100-franc note on Tuesday, the Chairman of the Governing Board of the SNB in Zurich, Thomas Jordan said that “promoting and ensuring both the supply of cash and the smooth functioning of cashless payments is no contradiction.”

He noted banknote circulation in Switzerland had increased steadily in recent years while also recognizing that “cashless payments are likely to become more important over time”.

“I am nevertheless convinced that the future of cash, and thus of our new banknote series, is bright,” Jordan added.

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