Polymer banknote

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Banknotes of the Australian dollar in a wallet. In 1988, Australia was the first country to introduce polymer banknotes for circulation.

Polymer banknotes are banknotes made from a synthetic polymer such as biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP). Such notes incorporate many security features not available in paper banknotes, including the use of metameric inks.[1] Polymer banknotes last significantly longer than paper notes, causing a decrease in environmental impact and a reduced cost of production and replacement.[2] Modern polymer banknotes were first developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and The University of Melbourne. They were first issued as currency in Australia during 1988 (coinciding with Australia's bicentennial year); by 1996, the Australian dollar was switched completely to polymer banknotes. Romania was the first country in Europe to issue a plastic note in 1999 and became the third country after Australia and New Zealand to fully convert to polymer by 2003.

Other currencies that have been switched completely to polymer banknotes include: the Vietnamese đồng (2006) although this is only applied to banknotes with denominations above 10,000 đồng, the Brunei dollar (2006), the Papua New Guinean kina (2008), the Canadian dollar (2013), the Maldivian rufiyaa (2017), the Mauritanian ouguiya (2017), the Nicaraguan córdoba (2017), the Vanuatu vatu (2017), the Eastern Caribbean dollar (2019) and the Pound sterling (2021). Several countries have now introduced polymer banknotes into commemorative or general circulation, including: Nigeria, Cape Verde, Chile, The Gambia, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam, Mexico, Singapore, Malaysia, Botswana, São Tomé and Príncipe, North Macedonia, the Russian Federation, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Morocco, Albania, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Israel, China, Kuwait, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Isle of Man, Guatemala, Haiti, Libya, Mauritius, Costa Rica, Honduras, Angola, Namibia and Lebanon. Costa Rica is supposed to have changed to polymer by the introduction of the new banknote series which omits the 50,000 colón banknote due to the denomination being too high (taken from Banknotenews). The Central Bank of Nigeria ever suggested that the country should stop printing polymer banknotes due to the high temperatures of the country (see Nigerian naira).

History[edit]

In the 1980s, Canadian engineering company AGRA Vadeko and US chemical company US Mobil Chemical Company developed a polymer substrate trademarked as DuraNote. It had been tested by the Bank of Canada in the 1980s and 1990s; test C$ 20 and C$ 50 banknotes were auctioned in October 2012.[3][4] It was also tested by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the United States Department of the Treasury in 1997 and 1998, when 40,000 test banknotes were printed and evaluated; and was evaluated by the central banks of 28 countries.[3]

Security features[edit]

Polymer banknotes usually have three levels of security devices. Primary security devices are easily recognisable by consumers and may include intaglio, metal strips, and the clear areas of the banknote. Secondary security devices are detectable by a machine. Tertiary security devices may only be detectable by the issuing authority when a banknote is returned.[5]

Adoption[edit]

Modern polymer banknotes were first developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation or CSIRO and first issued as currency in Australia during 1988, to coincide with Australia's bicentennial year.[6]

In August 2012, Nigeria's Central Bank attempted the switch back from polymer to paper banknotes,[7] saying there were "significant difficulties associated with the processing and destruction of the polymer banknotes" which had "constrained the realisation of the benefits expected from polymer banknotes over paper notes".[8] However, President Goodluck Jonathan halted the process in September 2012.[9]

The polymer notes in the Republic of Mauritius are available in values of Rs 25, Rs 50, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 rupees. The Fiji $5 was issued[10] in April 2013.

In the United Kingdom, the first polymer banknotes were issued by the Northern Bank in Northern Ireland in 2000; these were a special commemorative issue bearing an image of the space shuttle.[Note 1] In March 2015, the Clydesdale Bank in Scotland began to issue polymer Sterling £5 notes marking the 125th anniversary of the building of the Forth Bridge.ref>"First plastic banknotes to feature Forth Bridge". Edinburgh Evening News.</ref> These were the first polymer notes to enter general circulation in the UK.[11] The Royal Bank of Scotland followed in 2016 with a new issue of plastic £5 notes illustrated with a picture of author Nan Shepherd.[12] In September 2016, the Bank of England began to issue £5 polymer notes with a picture of Winston Churchill; and in 2017 a polymer £10 began replacing its paper equivalent, featuring a picture of the author Jane Austen. A polymer £20 was issued in 2020 with a picture of J.M.W. Turner. The Bank of England has said it plans to change the final note, £50, to a polymer note. Although the new Bank of England notes will be 15% smaller than the older, paper issue, they will bear a similar design.[13][14] Some businesses operating in the UK cash industry have opposed the switch to polymer, citing a lack of research into the cost impact of its introduction.[15]

Timeline of adoptions and withdrawals[edit]

Romania was the first country in mainland Europe to issue a plastic note in 1999 and became the third country after Australia and New Zealand to fully convert to polymer by 2003.

1980s[edit]

An alternative polymer of polyethylene fibres marketed as Tyvek by DuPont was developed for use as currency by the American Bank Note Company in the early 1980s:

Tyvek did not perform well in trials; smudging of ink and fragility were reported as problems, so production of Tyvek banknotes was discontinued.[17]

  • On 1988, Australia introduced the 10 dollars world's first non-Tyvek polymer banknote to celebrate the bicentennial years of Australia.[18]

1990s[edit]

2000[edit]

  • In April, Brazil introduced R$10 polymer banknote were released as a special edition commemorating the country's 500th anniversary.[30]

2001[edit]

  • In January, Bangladesh introduced the 10 taka polymer banknote, originally they were due to be issued in Victory day, a day big for Bangladeshis, but were delayed.[31]

2002[edit]

2003[edit]

  • By 2003, Romania converted all of its denominations of the leu to polymer,[35] becoming the first European country to do so.

2004[edit]

  • In October, Bank Negara Malaysia introduces a 5 ringgit polymer banknote into circulation, with the same design as the paper version. This was the first non-commemorative polymer banknote to be issued. Both polymer and paper versions were in circulation concurrently.[36]
  • In November, Bank Indonesia switched IDR 100000 polymer banknote into paper banknote with different design than polymer version.[37]

2005[edit]

  • In July, Romania redenominated the leu, removing four zeroes and issuing a series of new denominations in polymer.[38]

2006[edit]

  • From December 2003 to August 2006, Vietnam adopted polymer banknote in 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 and 500,000 đồng for general circulation.[39]
  • By 2006, Brunei had adopted polymer banknotes for all its banknote denominations.
  • The Australian Government agency CSIRO issued a non-legal tender polymer note to celebrate the 80th year of the formation of CSIRO. These notes were issued and distributed to staff members and at selected public events.[40]

2007[edit]

2008[edit]

2009[edit]

  • On 15 May, Nicaragua released new polymer ten and twenty Nicaragua córdoba banknotes to replace their paper counterparts.[44] After an announcement from the Central Bank of Nicaragua in 2008 stated that a new 200 Córdoba banknote would be in circulation, it took the country an additional year to prepare its new set of banknotes. A new polymer two hundred and a hundred córdoba banknote was first issued on the first of June 2009. In December 2009, a new 50 banknote was released, later followed by a new 500 banknote that was issued on 12 January 2010.[45][46]
  • In September, the Reserve Bank of India announced that it will introduce 1  billion 10-rupee notes.[47]
  • In September, the Central Bank of Chile introduced the new series of the Chilean Peso, starting with the redesigned 5000 Pesos banknote.[48]

2010[edit]

2011[edit]

  • In November, the Bank of Canada introduced the Frontier Series $100 polymer banknote to modernise its currency and reduce counterfeiting.[51] $50 banknotes were put into circulation in March 2012; the $20 note was put into circulation on 7 November 2012[52] with the $10 and $5 denominations released on 7 November 2013.[53][54]
  • In November, Guatemala introduced new polymer banknote in denomination of 5 quetzal.[55]

2012[edit]

2013[edit]

  • In April, the Reserve Bank of India introduce plastic/polymer currency note of 10 on a field trial basis in five cities in India.[57]
  • On 22 August, the Bank of Mauritius issued new 25-, 50-, and 500-rupee polymer banknotes which will circulate in parallel with the existing paper notes of the same denominations. The new polymer notes have almost the same design as the preceding paper banknotes, but contain numerous new security features such as transparent windows showing the image of the dodo, numbers printed with magnetic ink which become fluorescent under ultra violet light, and swing features printed in iridescent ink, which change to a different colour when observed in transparency or when tilted. The 25-, and 50-rupee notes are printed by Oberthur Technologies on Innovia Security's Guardian substrate and the 500-rupee note is printed by De La Rue on its Safeguard (formerly Flexycoin) substrate.[58]
  • On 22 November, Banque de Liban issued a 50,000 pounds banknote in polymer to commemorate the country's 70th anniversary of independence.[59]
  • In 2013,the Bank of England announced that it would adopt polymer notes.[60]

2014[edit]

2015[edit]

2016[edit]

2017[edit]

2018[edit]

2019[edit]

2020[edit]

2021[edit]

  • On 8 January, Bank of Cape Verde introduced a new 200-escudo note like the preceding issue printed in polymer, but printed on cotton paper.[109]
  • On 23 June, The Bank of England issued a 50 pounds polymer banknote, completing the currency's transition from paper to polymer notes. This the forth and final Series G banknote to be issued.[110]

Gallery[edit]

100 Chinese Yuan Polymer Banknote to Commemorate Year 2000

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Although the £5 Northern Bank polymer banknote was a one-off commemorative issued, unconventionally, in portrait orientation to mark the year 2000, it was in general circulation, with normal serial numbers (the commemorative version has serial numbers beginning with "Y2K", normal versions with "MM").[citation needed] It is the only Northern Bank note currently in circulation which was not affected by the recall of all the bank's notes as a result of the 26.5 million pound raid on its Belfast headquarters on 20 December 2004.[citation needed]

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External links[edit]