Cash transactions at a point-of-sale are generally performed quickly and automatically. People do not give themselves time, or might feel embarrassed when scrutinizing the banknote. To authenticate a banknote properly, a good strategy is to direct attention to the security features. Attentional orienting can proceed in a bottom-up and top-down manner. Bottom-up attention is usually deployed reflexively due to the characteristics of the scene and stimulus saliency. Top-down authentication of banknotes is likely hampered by the handler’s lack of knowledge of security features. It would therefore be ideal if security features were to capture attention in a rapid bottom-up manner.
It may come as no surprise that saliency is a well-known concept among developers of banknote security features, the idea of shiny foils is based on this thought. However, to date there is not much scientific dissemination about the effectiveness of security feature saliency. A potential solution—and the focus of the study that will be presented—is to display a single type of salient element near each security feature. As such, the security features themselves can stay as they are, while the novel salient design element may become an established marker for areas worthy of inspection.
The results of the study provide evidence that attention can be guided to enhance banknote authentication.