Founded in 1852 by Hermann Giesecke and Alphonse Devrient, the firm initially specialized in high-quality printing, notably currency and securities printing. From the 1850s to the 1870s the firm printed some of the important biblical editions of Constantin von Tischendorf. The partnership's reputation for quality work was confirmed at the 1867 international exhibition in Paris.
Giesecke+Devrient supplied currency during the inflation in the Weimar Republic in the 1920s, one of the most prominent cases of hyperinflation. It also printed tickets to the 1936 Olympics in Germany and did business with Spain under Franco. Its role in facilitating the destruction of the economy of Zimbabwe through another printers' breeding of hyperinflation under Mugabe is well-known.
In the modern period, G+D has expanded operations to include banknote processing, smart cards, identification systems, and e-payments. The firm is the world's second largest supplier of banknotes, with annual revenues of $2.45 billion. They have over 11,600 employees, and some 50 subsidiaries and joint ventures around the world. The company operates printing facilities in Germany (Munich, Leipzig), as well as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. G+D currently supplies euro notes for the German Bundesbank; and the company supplies banknotes for many other nations.
In 1999, Giesecke+Devrient acquired the British American Bank Note Company, and renamed it to BA International Inc.
In addition to Germany, Giesecke+Devrient has printed banknotes for other various countries through the years, including Cambodia, Croatia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Lithuania, Peru, Zaire, and Zimbabwe. In Japan, G+D is active in the fields of cards and banknotes.
In October 2002, Giesecke+Devrient, along with the Information Security Group, Royal Holloway, University of London and Vodafone set up the Smart Card Centre, which is part of the ISG at Royal Holloway.
In January 2015, G+D founded Veridos GmbH in Berlin as a cooperation with Bundesdruckerei, with G+D holding 60%. This company is offering secure identification products for governments, such as ID cards, passports, and automated border control systems.
In 2017, Giesecke+Devrient joined the Verimi identification platform, which together with more than a dozen well-known German and foreign companies, offers a portal for the protection of digital identity and personal data. G+D has held a 10% stake in Verimi since January 2018.
In April 2018, the previous Giesecke & Devrient GmbH (G&D) was renamed to Giesecke+Devrient GmbH (G+D) as the mother company. The previous business units were spun off as separate fully owned daughter companies as follows:
In 2018, Build38 was created as a spin-off and took over part of the Mobile App Security and Intelligence portfolio. It has its head office in Munich, development in Barcelona and sales office in Singapore. 
- Banknote related business into G+D Currency Technology GmbH (G+D CT) which owns the paper mill Papierfabrik Louisenthal GmbH (PL) with its banknote substrates and security elements, and the banknote printing works in Malaysia.
- Smart card related business with payment cards, SIM card and eSIM and security solutions into G+D Mobile Security GmbH (G+D MS).
In November 2009 Giesecke+Devrient announced plans to form a new company with SAP AG and Nokia Corp., named Original1, to deliver product authentication and anti-counterfeiting services globally. The headquarters is in Frankfurt, Germany. Original1 offers user authentication, end-to-end encryption of the information flow and database encryption. Original1 On-Demand is an online product for brand product protection.
As of August 2012, Original1 is in liquidation. The supervisory board (40% SAP, 40% Nokia, 20% Giesecke+Devrient) dismissed the 3 managing directors with 6 months notice and 6 months severance. The remaining employees were dismissed with 3 months notice and no severance.
Giesecke+Devrient have a history of doing business with Rhodesia and its successor state Zimbabwe going back to 1965, and they have been supplying security paper for banknotes, passports and other instruments to the government of Zimbabwe throughout the hyperinflation in Zimbabwe.
In June 2008 U.S. officials announced they would not take any action against the firm. It was reported that on 1 July 2008 company's Management Board decided to cease delivering banknote paper to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe with immediate effect. The decision was in response to an "official request" from the German government and calls for international sanctions by the European Union and the United Nations. Dr. Karsten Ottenberg, CEO and Chairman of the G+D Management Board, explained:
"Our decision is a reaction to the political tension in Zimbabwe, which is mounting significantly rather than easing as expected, and takes account of the critical evaluation by the international community, German government and general public."
- G&D: "1852: "Officin für Geld- und Werthpapiere." Archived 2006-10-17 at the Wayback Machine 2009.
- Faulman, Karl. (1882). Illustrirte Geschichte der Buchdruckerkunst, pp. 575-576.
- "Zimbabwe Can't Paper Over Its Million-Percent Inflation Anymore; Under Pressure, German Company Cuts Off Shipments of Blank Bank Notes to Mugabe," Wall Street Journal. July 2, 2008.
- Böttge, Horst; Mahl, Tobias; Kamp, Michael (2013). Giesecke & Devrient Munich (ed.). From Eurocheque Card to Mobile Security 1968 - 2012. Battenberg Gietl Verlag. ISBN 978-3-866-46549-7.
- "U.S. won't punish Giesecke+Devrient over Zimbabwe aid," Los Angeles Times. June 19, 2008.
- G&D: "Profile," Archived 2010-07-13 at the Wayback Machine 2007.
- G+D: Printing
- Bender, Klaus W. The Moneymakers, p. 77.
- "NEW ACQUISITIONS". BoC Museum. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
- G&D: "Japan: A Country Portrait; Reforms bear fruit." Archived 2007-10-28 at the Wayback Machine 2009.
- "Giesecke & Devrient Restructures Banknote Printing Operation in Ottawa, Canada". Digital Journal. 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
- verimi. Unsere Leitlinien., Retrieved on 8th of July 2020.
- Giesecke+Devrient. Jahresbericht 2018(PDF; 1,7 MB), Retrieved on the 8th of July 2020.
- "Giesecke+Devrient Starts New App Security Company". Digital Journal. 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
- Giesecke+Devrient investiert in Startup Brighter AI Technologies., Retrieved on 8th of July 2020.
- How facial recognition is improving privacy technology, Retrieved on 8th of July 2020.
- Cable, Josh. "SAP, Nokia and Giesecke & Devrient to Establish Brand-Protection Service," Archived 2010-06-23 at the Wayback Machine 'IndustryWeek (Cleveland, Ohio). November 13, 2009.
- Original1 GmbH "What is Original1 On-Demand?".
- Ohlden, Anna. "Giesecke+Devrient Halts Deliveries to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe," Archived 2008-07-05 at the Wayback Machine PRNewswire. July 1, 2008.
- Bender, Klaus W. (2006). Moneymakers: the Secret World of Banknote Printing. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag. ISBN 978-3-527-50236-3; OCLC 69326754
- (in German) Faulmann, Karl. (1882). Illustrirte Geschichte der Buchdruckerkunst: mit besonderer Berücksichtigung ihrer technischen Entwicklung bis zur Gegenwart. Vienna: A. Hartleben. OCLC 2847445.
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