Banknotes: Distinguishing Real from Fake in Singapore

When we handle money in our day-to-day routines, we hardly pause to consider if the banknotes we receive are genuine or counterfeit. But it’s important to be able to spot the real deal and protect ourselves from fake currency. Even in Singapore, where counterfeit cases are uncommon, knowing how to distinguish between genuine and fake banknotes remains vital. This article aims to share valuable tips on identifying authentic Singapore banknotes, helping you safeguard yourself against counterfeit money.

Security Features of Genuine Singapore Banknotes

When it comes to keeping counterfeiters at bay, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has gone above and beyond. They’ve incorporated a range of cutting-edge security measures into Singapore’s banknotes that are nothing short of remarkable. Let’s take a closer look at some of the standout security features you’ll find in genuine Singapore banknotes:

1. Cotton Paper Substrate

When it comes to genuine Singapore banknotes, they’re not just printed on any old paper. Nope, they’re made with a special cotton paper substrate that’s all fancy and high-quality. And let me tell you, this stuff gives the notes a whole different vibe, a unique feel, and texture that makes counterfeiters break out in a cold sweat.

2. Interwoven Security Thread

Take a moment to examine an authentic Singapore banknote, and you’ll spot something interesting—a security thread gracefully weaving its way down the front of the note. Hold it up against the light, and you’ll see a striking continuous line with meaningful text displaying the denomination numeral and the word ‘Singapore’ in all four official languages. 

3. Portrait Watermark

One cool security feature found on Singapore banknotes is the portrait watermark. If you take a real Singapore banknote and hold it up to the light, you’ll notice a special portrait watermark of Encik Yusof bin Ishak, the first president of Singapore. It’s like a three-dimensional image with different shades that really stand out. 

And if you look closely, you’ll also spot a simpler watermark right below the portrait, which becomes clear and distinct when you hold the note up to the light. It’s a neat little detail that adds to the uniqueness of these banknotes.

4. Ultraviolet Fibres

Let’s talk about those special fibers that make Singapore banknotes stand out under UV light. You see, these fibers are like secret agents hidden within the cotton paper of real banknotes. When you shine that UV light on them, they put on a show and emit a unique glow. It’s a cool feature that counterfeiters struggle to copy or simply overlook. 

5. Highlight Watermark 

When it comes to keeping our currency secure, there’s an important feature you should know about. It’s called the highlight watermark, and it adds another layer of protection. Think of it as a secret code that’s hidden in the money. When you hold the note up to the light, you’ll see a very thin, clear image that stands out. It’s like a special badge that only real money can wear.

Identifying Fake Singapore Banknotes

While the Singaporean authorities work diligently to combat counterfeit currency, it’s essential for individuals to stay vigilant and develop the skills to identify fake banknotes. Here are some telltale signs of counterfeit Singapore banknotes to watch out for:

1. Lack of Security Thread

When it comes to spotting fake Singapore banknotes, one big giveaway is the absence of the security thread. You know, that vertical line that runs down the real deal. If it’s missing, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s a phony. So, whenever you get your hands on some cash, don’t forget to give it a quick check for that all-important security thread.

2. Absence of Watermark

Remember what we mentioned earlier? Well, if you take a genuine Singapore banknote and hold it up to the light, you’ll see something pretty neat. There’s this amazing three-dimensional portrait of the late Encik Yusof bin Ishak, accompanied by a distinct watermark that stands out. But here’s the thing: counterfeit notes often lack these watermarks or have poorly copied versions. So, if a banknote appears plain and doesn’t reveal these special watermarks when held up to the light, chances are it’s a fake.

3. Differences in the Simulated Kinegram

Alright, let’s talk about those fancy reflective foils called kinegrams found on genuine Singapore banknotes. These little octagonal marvels are pretty cool. You see, when you tilt a legit banknote, the image on the kinegram should play a little game of shifting and changing. It’s like a visual dance, showing off its authenticity. 

However, there’s a sneaky trick that counterfeit notes might pull off—they could have a fake kinegram that doesn’t do any of that impressive shifting and changing stuff. So, when you’re inspecting a banknote, keep your eyes peeled for any funny business on the kinegram. If it’s not behaving like the real deal when you tilt it, something fishy might be going on.

4. Lack of Embossed Surface

You know how real Singapore banknotes have this cool textured feel when you run your fingers over them? It’s like they’ve got these little bumps that make them stand out. Well, that’s because they use special ink and a hand-engraved process to create that effect. But here’s the thing: counterfeit notes don’t have that embossed texture. They feel smoother and less noticeable when you touch them. So, if you ever come across a bill that doesn’t have that unique feel, it’s a red flag that something fishy might be going on.

“Look-Tilt-Feel” Method for Authenticity Verification

To ensure the authenticity of Singapore banknotes, you can utilize the “Look-Tilt-Feel” method. This method involves a systematic examination of the banknote using visual inspection, tilting to observe specific features, and assessing the texture and physical properties. Let’s dive deeper into each step of this verification process:

1. Look

When you first get your hands on a banknote, take a moment to visually inspect it. Here’s what to look for:

  • Hold the note up against a light source and observe the watermark portrait of Encik Yusof bin Ishak, Singapore’s first president. You’ll notice that it has a three-dimensional appearance, giving it a distinct look.
  • Just below the watermark portrait, you’ll find the highlight watermark, which matches the Braille pattern located at the top right-hand corner of the note.
  • Genuine paper notes come with two key elements: an eye-catching, octagonal kinegram in a shiny metallic silver color on the front, and a security thread in the same metallic silver hue on the back.
  • The note also incorporates ultraviolet (UV) security features. Under UV light, you’ll see the serial number, a patch with a hidden image, and the denomination numeral glowing, confirming its authenticity.

2. Tilt

When you want to examine specific features of a banknote, try this technique of tilting the note at different angles under the right lighting conditions. Here’s what to look for:

  • Get a good grip on the note and start tilting it gently. Notice how the denomination numeral in the kilogram shifts, and keep an eye on the logo of MAS as it transforms into the iconic Singapore lion symbol.
  • Flip the note over, and you’ll find holographic images of the Singapore lion symbol and the MAS logo on the silver-colored thread.

3. Feel

Here’s how you can evaluate the texture and physical properties of the banknote:

  • Take your finger and glide it gently over the note’s surface. As you do, pay attention to the raised texture you’ll sense on certain parts like the portrait of Singapore’s first president, the coat of arms representing Singapore, the Braille pattern, and the word “Singapore.”

By following this “Look-Tilt-Feel” method, you can significantly increase your ability to identify genuine Singapore banknotes and differentiate them from counterfeits.

What to Do If You Suspect a Fake Singapore Banknote

If you suspect that you have received a counterfeit Singapore banknote, take the following steps to ensure the proper handling and reporting of the incident:

1. Make a Report to the Authorities:

If you come across a suspicious counterfeit note, it’s essential to take action. Head over to your local police center in the neighborhood or get in touch with the authorities right away. Give them every important detail you have about the person who handed you the suspected fake bill. It’s crucial to share all the relevant information to aid their investigation.

2. Gather Information:

Jot down all the important stuff about the suspect—like their gender, age, height, race, tattoos, body type, clothes, or the language they speak. And if you can, grab details about their ride, including the license plate number.

3. Preserve the Suspected Counterfeit Note:

Grab that suspicious counterfeit note and make sure it’s shielded in a protective covering like an envelope. That way, no one can mess with it anymore. Then, pass the note to the police so they can take a closer look and dig deeper into the matter.

The Bottom Line 

Being able to tell the difference between real and fake banknotes is super important these days. Even though counterfeit incidents in Singapore are not that common, it’s still crucial to stay on your toes and know how to spot genuine Singapore banknotes. Take some time to get familiar with the security features, practice the “Look-Tilt-Feel” technique, and if you suspect a fake note, report it right away. By doing these simple things, you’re doing your part to protect the integrity of our currency and keep everyone’s finances safe. So, stay informed, stay alert, and let’s all work together to keep counterfeit money away.

Get Real Cash without the Worry – Choose Accredit Moneylender!

Hey there! In need of some extra cash, but worried about the risk of receiving counterfeit money? Well, worry no more because Accredit Moneylender is here to put your mind at ease!

Accredit Moneylender is Singapore’s premier licensed money lender, and we pride ourselves on being a part of the new wave of reliable financial institutions. Whether you’ve been daydreaming about transforming your humble abode, planning a picture-perfect wedding, or embarking on an exciting renovation project, our personal loans are designed to meet a wide array of needs.

So, if you’re searching for a trustworthy source of funds without any concerns about counterfeit bills, then look no further than Accredit Moneylender! All you have to do is get in touch with us, and we’ll assist you in turning your dreams into reality. Don’t waste any more time – take that crucial first step toward achieving financial freedom today!

Accredit Pte Limited has 4 locations island-wide, to bring our transparent services closer to you.


Tampines Branch
(+65 6226 2662)
Yishun Branch
(+65 6219 2662)
Hougang Branch
(+65 6245 2662)
Clementi Branch
(+65 6261 2662)

Accredit @ Yishun

Google Reviews

Operating Hours:
Mon to Fri  : 10am – 8pm
Sat and Sun: 10am – 5pm

Accredit @ Tampines

Google Reviews

Operating Hours:
Mon to Fri  : 10am – 8pm
Sat and Sun: 10am – 5pm

Accredit @ Hougang

Google Reviews

Operating Hours:
Mon to Fri  : 10am – 8pm
Sat and Sun: 10am – 5pm

Accredit @ Clementi

Google Reviews

Operating Hours:
Mon to Fri  : 10am – 8pm
Sat and Sun: 10am – 5pm