Polymer banknotes are banknotes made from a polymer such as biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP). Such notes incorporate many security features not available in paper banknotes, including the use of metameric inks. Polymer banknotes last significantly longer than paper notes, causing a decrease in environmental impact and a reduced cost of production and replacement. 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). In 1996 Australia switched completely to polymer banknotes. Other countries that have switched completely to polymer banknotes include: Brunei, Canada, Maldives, Mauritania, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Romania and Vietnam. The latest countries to introduce polymer banknotes into general circulation include: the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Cape Verde, Chile, The Gambia, Nicaragua, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Botswana, São Tomé and Príncipe, North Macedonia, the Russian Federation, Armenia, Solomon Islands, Egypt, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Samoa, Morocco, Albania and Cambodia.
- 1 History
- 2 Development
- 3 Security features
- 4 Adoption
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
In 1967 forgeries of the Australian $10 note were found in circulation.
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 $20 and $50 banknotes were auctioned in October 2012. 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.
Polymer banknotes were developed in Australia to replace paper banknotes with a more secure and more durable alternative.
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.
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.
In August 2012, Nigeria's Central Bank attempted the switch back from polymer to paper banknotes, 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". However, President Goodluck Jonathan halted the process in September 2012.
The polymer notes in the Republic of Mauritius are available in values of Rs 25, Rs 50 and Rs 500. The Fiji $5 was issued 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. These were the first polymer notes to enter general circulation in the UK. The Royal Bank of Scotland followed in 2016 with a new issue of plastic £5 notes illustrated with a picture of author Nan Shepherd. 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. Plans for a polymer £20 note for 2020 have been released, but the Bank of England has said it plans to change the final note, £50, to a polymer note. The £10 polymer banknotes have a picture of author Jane Austen. Although the new Bank of England notes will be 15% smaller than the older, paper issue, they will bear a similar design. 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.
Timeline of adoptions and withdrawals
- In 1998, Malaysia issued a RM50 commemorative banknote in conjunction with the XVI Commonwealth Games, the first polymer banknote ever issued by Bank Negara Malaysia.
- In September, Mexico switched the 20-pesos banknote from paper to polymer banknotes. Two more new polymer notes issued in 2006, for 20-pesos (new design) and the 50-pesos.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- On 13 April, Israel started to issue 20 ILS Banknotes, due to the high deterioration of 20 ILS paper banknotes. The Israeli polymer notes are printed by Orell Füssli Security Printing of Zürich, Switzerland.
- On 15 May, Nicaragua released new polymer ten and twenty Nicaragua córdoba banknotes to replace their paper counterparts. 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 C$ banknote that was issued on 12 January 2010.
- In September, the Reserve Bank of India announced that it will introduce 1 billion 10-rupee notes.
- In September, the Central Bank of Chile introduced the new series of the Chilean Peso, starting with the redesigned 5000 Pesos banknote.
- In June, The Central Bank of the Dominican Republic announced the introduction of a new polymer based 20 pesos bill.
- In October, The Central Bank of Chile announced the redesigned 2000 Pesos that went into circulation on 20 November, as a program to change the old designs and make them more secure.
- In November, the Bank of Canada introduced the Frontier Series $100 polymer banknote to modernise its currency and reduce counterfeiting. $50 banknotes were put into circulation in March 2012; the $20 note was put into circulation on 7 November 2012 with the $10 and $5 denominations released on 7 November 2013.
- On 16 July, the Bank Negara Malaysia put new RM1 and RM5 polymer banknotes into circulation as part of a new banknote series.
- In April, the Reserve Bank of India introduce plastic/polymer currency note of ₹10 on a field trial basis in five cities in India.
- 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.
- On 22 November, the Bank of Lebanon (Banque de Liban) issued a 50,000 livres banknote in polymer to commemorate the country's 70th anniversary of independence.
- In 2013 the Bank of England announced that it would adopt polymer notes.
- In 2014, the Bank of Lebanon (Banque du Liban) issued a 50,000 livres banknote in polymer to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Banque du Liban.
- The Reserve Bank of Vanuatu introduced polymer banknotes in denominations of 200, 1,000 and 2,000 vatu.
- On 5 August, the National Bank of Poland issued 50,000 20 złotych polymer banknotes to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Polish Legions.
- On 20 July, the Central Bank of the Gambia issued a 20 Dalasis banknote printed on De La Rue's Safeguard polymer substrate. It commemorates "20 Years of Progress and Self-Reliance", coinciding with President Yahya Jammeh's 20 years in office as President.
- On 28 November, the Central Bank of Mauritania issued a 1,000 Ouguiya banknote on Innovia Security's Guardian substrate.
- On 15 December, the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago issued a $50 note printed on polymer to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago.
- The Reserve Bank of New Zealand introduced a new family of notes with improved security features, with the $5 and $10 notes in October 2015, and the $20, $50 and $100 notes in April 2016.
- Clydesdale Bank issued two million 5 pound notes, printed in polymer. It features a portrait of Sir William Arrol and an image of the Forth Bridge.
- The Royal Bank of Scotland issued a 5-pound note, which was printed on Giesecke & Devrient's "Hybrid" polymer substrate. It was issued to commemorate the Ryder Cup.
- The Reserve Bank of India announced plans to introduce polymer banknotes on a pilot basis and improve security features to defeat the efforts of counterfeiters
- The Bank of Lebanon (Banque du Liban) issued a 50,000 livres banknote in polymer to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Lebanese Army.
- The Bank of Papua New Guinea issued 10 and 20 kina notes in polymer, one to commemorate the XV Pacific Games and the other to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Papua New Guinean independence.
- The Maldives Authority Monetary introduced a new family of banknotes printed on De La Rue's "Safeguard" polymer substrate. A commemorative 5,000 Rufiyaa banknote was issued in July 2015, and followed by the 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, 500 and a new denomination of 1,000 Rufiyaa in October 2015.
- The Monetary Authority of Singapore issued a set of polymer banknotes to commemorate the nation's 50th Anniversary of independence. It consists of five S$10 notes and a commemorative S$50 note.
- On 9 September, the Bank of Canada (Banque du Canada) issued a 20 dollar polymer note to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's milestone as the longest-reigning monarch in Canada's modern era. It is similar to the regular issue 20 dollar Frontier Series polymer note, but the notable features for the commemorative note are the metallic portrait of the queen, based on a photograph taken by renowned Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh, the metallic symbol including the Queen's monogram surmounted by the St. Edward's crown, surrounded by a garland of maple leaves and the text "A HISTORIC REIGN • UN RÈGNE HISTORIQUE" repeated at the top, center and bottom of the large window.
- The Banco Central de Nicaragua issued a new family of notes on 26 October 2015. They are printed in polymer, except for the 500 cordobas banknote, which is printed on cotton paper substrate.
- The Government of Gibraltar issued a £100 polymer banknote to commemorate Sir Joshua Hassan's 22 years as Chief Minister in the first half of 2016.
- The Royal Bank of Scotland is set to issue £5 and £10 banknotes in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The notes will be printed on De La Rue's Safeguard polymer substrate.
- On 1 September, the Reserve Bank of Australia issued a A$5 polymer note with improved security features and a tactile feature to assist those with visual impairments.
- On 13 September 2016 the Bank of England began issuing the new polymer £5 note, the first to be issued in England and Wales.
- On 17 March, the Reserve Bank of India announced that it will do trials of plastic ₹10 notes at five locations in India.
- The Bank of Canada (Banque du Canada) unveiled a $10 polymer banknote to commemorate the 150th anniversary of confederation. It was issued on 1 June.
- In September, The Bank of England issued a new polymer £10 note.
- On 14 December, Bank Negara Malaysia announced the issuance of 2 paper and polymer substrate combination commemorative banknotes in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the Signing of the Federation of Malaya Independence Agreement with the denominations of 60 ringgit and 600 ringgit. The RM60 note was also made available in a 3-in-1 format.
- The National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia issued 10- and 50-denari polymer banknotes as part of a new series.
- The Bank of Mauritius has issued a 2,000-rupees banknote printed on polymer substrate and with revised security features, while at the same time all previous versions of the 2,000-rupees paper banknote will cease to be legal tender by the end of January 2019.
- The Central Bank of Libya has issued a 1 Libyan Dinar banknote on 17 February 2019, in commemoration of the 8th Anniversary of the Libyan Revolution of 2011.
- Bank of Ireland, Danske Bank and Ulster Bank, commercial banks in Northern Ireland, each issued a new series of banknotes on polymer substrate for general use in Northern Ireland on 27 February 2019.
- Bank of Albania introduced a new 200 Albanian Lek polymer banknote on 30 September 2019.
- 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"). 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.
- "Home | Polymernotes.org". www.polymernotes.org. Archived from the original on 22 January 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- "Polymer". Bank of Canada. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- "Our currency". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 1 November 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
- Orzano, Michele (2 October 2012). "BEP confirms 1998 DuraNote polymer testing". Coin World. Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- Rodgers, Kerry; Schwartz, Robert (21 August 2012). "DuraNotes to be offered". Bank Note Reporter. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 April 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Solomon, David; Spurling, Tom (2014). The Plastic Banknote. CSIRO Publishing. ISBN 9780643094277.
- "Polymer banknotes". CSIRO. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
- "FAQs on Currency Restructuring". Central Bank of Nigeria. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
- "PRESS BRIEFING BY THE GOVERNOR, CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA, MALLAM SANUSI LAMIDO SANUSI, CON, ON THE PROPOSED CURRENCY RESTRUCTURING EXERCISE, "PROJECT CURE"" (PDF). Central Bank of Nigeria. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
- "CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA - Press Release - Update on the Proposed Currency Restructuring Exercise 'Project CURE'" (PDF). Central Bank of Nigeria. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "First plastic banknotes to feature Forth Bridge".
- "Clydesdale notes could win 'banknote of the year' award". BBC News. BBC News. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- "New £5 and £10 polymer notes unveiled". Royal Bank of Scotland. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- "News Release - New Bank of England banknotes to be printed on polymer".
- "New polymer £5 note is out today - here's where you're likely to see it first". BBC News. 13 September 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- "Payments Intelligence Extract: Who pays for polymer?". Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- "Kuala Lumpur 98 - XVI Commonwealth Games RM50 Commemorative Polymer Banknote". Bank Negara Malaysia. Bank Negara Malaysia. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- "Pagina404". Bancodemexico.com.mx. 11 July 2001. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- McGuire, Nancy (31 January 2005). "Paying With Plastic". American Chemical Society. Archived from the original on 27 September 2006. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- "Bank issues RM5 Polymer Banknotes". Bank Negara Malaysia. Bank Negara Malaysia. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- "Promotional prints (Y) / CSIRO". polymernotes.org. Archived from the original on 6 March 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2008.
- "New NIS 20 banknotes printed on polymer will be put into general circulation from 13 April 2008". Office of the Spokesperson and Economic Information. 4 November 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
- "IPCA The New Paradigm In Currency" (PDF). ipca.au.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2011.
- Franklin G. (17 December 2008). "Numismatic News: New Banknote of 500 Cordobas at Nicaragua". Numismaticworldnews. blogspot.com. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Nicaragua new 50-cordoba commemorative confirmed". Banknote News. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
- "RBI to introduce 100 crore Rs 10 plastic notes – The Times of India". Timesofindia. The Times of India. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Nuevos Billetes". Nuevosbilletes.cl. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Nuevo billete de RD$20.00 en polímero". Bancentral.gov.do. Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Nuevos Billetes". Nuevosbilletes.cl. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- Yuen, Jenny (14 November 2011). "Pay with a new kind of 'plastic' | Canada". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Polymer $20 bill goes into circulation - CTV News". CTVNews.
- "New plastic $50 bills go into circulation". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
- Bank of Canada (20 June 2011). "Canada's New Polymer Bank Notes – Celebrating Canada's Achievements at the Frontiers of Innovation – Bank of Canada". Bankofcanada.ca. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "New Banknotes Series Issued Into Circulation from 16 July 2012". Bank Negara Malaysia. Bank Negara Malaysia. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- "RBI to introduce Rs 10 polymer notes on trial basis". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- "Mauritius - Banknote News".
- Lebanon new 50,000-livre commemorative note confirmed BanknoteNews.com. 24 November 2013. Retrieved on 2013-11-25.
- "Britain to Join Ranks of Nations Using Plastic Currency". New York Times. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
- De La Rue's announcement on the issuance of the 50,000 livre commemorative polymer note Archived 13 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine De La Rue (www.delarue.com). Retrieved on 2014-04-09.
- Polymer notes launched include new Vt2000 Daily Post (www.dailypost.vu). 10 June 2014. Retrieved on 2014-06-12.
- The Centenary of the Formation of the Polish Legions National Bank of Poland (www.nbp.pl). Retrieved on 2014-07-26.
- Central Bank of The Gambia launches new commemorative 20 Dalasi banknote on De La Rue's Safeguard® polymer Archived 29 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine De La Rue (www.delarue.com). Retrieved on 2014-11-19.
- Gambia unveils new note family including 20- and 200-dalasi denominations BanknoteNews.com. 26 February 2015. Retrieved on 2015-02-28.
- Mauritania launches 1000 Ouguiya note on Guardian® Archived 9 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine Innovia Security (www.innoviasecurity.com). Retrieved on 2014-12-06.
- Trinidad & Tobago new 50-dollar polymer note reported BanknoteNews.com. 15 December 2014. Retrieved on 2014-12-16.
- Cape Verde new 200-, 1,000- and 2,000-escudo notes confirmed BanknoteNews.com. 10 January 2015. Retrieved on 2015-02-28.
- Brighter Money / Banknote upgrade project Archived 27 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine Reserve Bank of New Zealand (www.rbnz.govt.nz). Retrieved on 2014-11-20.
- "Plastic £5 note first for Great Britain". BBC. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- "Ryder Cup bank-note design unveiled". bbc.com. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "RBI planning to introduce plastic currency notes next year". timesofindia-economictimes.
- Lebanon new 50,000-livre polymer commemorative note reported for July 2015 BanknoteNews.com. 21 May 2015. Retrieved on 2015-05-23.
- Papua New Guinea new 10- and 20-kina polymer commemorative notes reported issued 21.05.2015 BanknoteNews.com. 22 May 2015. Retrieved on 2015-05-23.
- Notice of Issuance of Commemorative currencies 2015[permanent dead link] Bank of Papua New Guinea (www.bankpng.gov.pg). Retrieved on 2015-05-23.
- The Maldives Monetary Authority announces new banknote family on De La Rue's Safeguard® polymer substrate Archived 20 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine De La Rue (www.delarue.com). 12 May 2015. Retrieved on 2015-06-19.
- Maldives new 5,000-rufiyaa commemorative polymer note (B222) confirmed BanknoteNews.com. 26 July 2015. Retrieved on 2015-07-27.
- Maldives new note family unveiled BanknoteNews.com 1 November 2015. Retrieved on 2015-11-01.
- Singapore new 10- and one 50-dollar commemorative notes (B212 - B217) confirmed BanknoteNews.com. 26 August 2015. Retrieved on 2015-08-27.
- Bank Note Design Bank of Canada (Banque du Canada) (www.bankofcanada.ca). Retrieved on 2015-09-12.
- BCN anuncia Emisión de Nuevos Billetes 2015 Banco Central de Nicaragua (www.bcn.gob.ni). Retrieved on 2015-10-13.
- Nicaragua new note family (B506 - B511) confirmed BanknoteNews.com. 28 October 2015. Retrieved on 2015-10-30.
- Gibraltar new 100-pound polymer commemorative note to be issued in 2016 BanknoteNews.com. 21 August 2015. Retrieved on 2015-09-07.
- Royal Bank of Scotland announces its new £5 and £10 banknotes will be issued on De La Rue's Safeguard® polymer substrate Archived 6 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine De La Rue (www.delarue.com). 7 September 2015. Retrieved on 2015-09-15.
- Australia new 5-dollar note (B230) confirmed BanknoteNews.com. 2 September 2016. Retrieved on 2016-09-21.
-  Archived 5 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine The New Fiver - Bank of England.
- "Approval given to RBI to print Rs 10 plastic notes: Government". The Economic Times. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
- Celebrating Canada's 150th 1867 - 2017 Bank of Canada (Banque du Canada) (www.bankofcanada.ca). Retrieved on 2017-04-15.
- "The new £10 polymer banknote". Bank of England.
- "Issuance of Commemorative Banknotes in conjunction with the 60th Anniversary of the Signing of the Federation of Malaya Independence Agreement". Bank Negara Malaysia. Bank Negara Malaysia. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- Macedonia introduces 1st polymer banknotes Xinhua. April 23, 2018. Retrieved on 2019-08-16.
- Bank of Mauritius launch a new 2000 rupee polymer banknote De La Rue (www.delarue.com). December 6, 2018. Retrieved on 2019-01-20.
- "Central Bank of Libya announces new 'plastic banknote' in Tripoli". Libyan Express - Libya News, Opinion, Analysis and Latest Updates from Libya. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- "New Polymer Note To Enter Circulation This Month". Danske Bank. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- "Seria e Re e Kartëmonedhave". Bank of Albania (in Albanian). Retrieved 3 October 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Polymer banknotes.|
- PolymerNotes.org by Stane Štraus
- Currency Note Research and Development Project from the University of Melbourne
- Professor David Solomon – Inventor of Plastic Bank Note Wins 2006 Victoria Prize from the University of Melbourne
- Polymer banknotes from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
- Note Printing Australia
- PolymerNotes.de (in German) by Thomas Krause
- New Kuwaiti Dinar notes released by Kuwait News Agency.
- Costs of introducing polymer notes in the UK by CMS Payments Intelligence.