The Best New Banknote Series -award went to Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) for the 2018 Series. The notes themselves are being issued by the three note issuing banks (NBIs) in Hong Kong (Standard Chartered, Bank of China and HSBC), with enhanced security features, new cultural themes, durability and aids for the visually impaired.

There are five denominations, so 15 different designs in total, which are all being printed by Hong Kong Note Printing. China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation designed the versions to be issued by the Bank of China, Giesecke+ Devrient designed those from Standard Chartered Bank, and De La Rue designed the HSBC series.

It is the first time that the thematic subjects on the reverse side of the notes from all the issuers have been standardised for each denomination to facilitate easy recognition by the public. And to provide easy differentiation from the previous series, the designs on the reverse of each note are vertically-oriented.

The themes represent different aspects of Hong Kong – for example, its position as an international financial centre (HK$1,000), the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark (HK$500), Cantonese opera (HK$100), butterflies that inhabit Hong Kong (HK$50), and the popular dim sum and tea culture (HK$20).

The new banknotes incorporate advanced security features, the placement of which is uniform across all five denominations. For the HK$500 and HK$1,000 (which will be issued this month), they include SPARK®, a windowed security thread (Galaxy™ with Multicode™), an enhanced watermark and a fluorescent see-through feature.