With the seismic shift in consumers’ shopping habits changing to e-commerce and the use digital wallets, bank note usage has been forced into a gradual decline, as one of the previously dominant bank note makers globally concedes.

De La Rue is responsible for a third of banknote production globally but the company is now prepared for its profits to hit hard and relationships with partner banks to change due to altered trading changes.

De La Rue is facing a significant change of fortune where loan arrangements will have be reconsidered.

In an update, the company said it was dealing with “the demand for banknotes” being at the lowest level for over 20 years, “resulting in a low order book going into fiscal year 2024”.

Big central banks have continued to order stock of physical bank notes from such companies like De La Rue, understanding the domino impact that economic crises trigger, however are delaying new orders to use up existing stock.

The digitalisation of money and payments is continually discussed at the highest level by the G7 and the G20 and frequently tops the agenda for the European Commission and European Parliament joining government and states at events such as the Euro Summit.

Banks and businesses have to adapt to the tide changing to digital services and payment methods in order to survive, which affects even the strongest financial institutions being able to bail out banknote companies. This difficult period could extend for “9-12 months longer than normally expected in the normal cycle of things” under the current trading conditions.

De la Rue’s shares fell by 30% on Wednesday.