Update: see previous post – October 9, 2011 New Canadian Plastic Bank Notes To Be Released in Nov./11, March /12 and the End of 2013
Paying with plastic takes on a new meaning today as the Bank of Canada rolls out new $100 bills to replace the cotton-paper blend note.
The $100 is Canada’s first polymer bank note and features a wealth of anti-counterfeiting features such as partially-hidden numbers.
So much for a cashless society; cash is still used for more than half of all shopping transactions.
The bill also includes a large, transparent window, transparent text, a metallic portrait, raised ink and a frosted maple leaf window.
The $100s feature two portraits of prime minister Robert Borden and an image of a researcher at a microscope and a depiction of DNA.
Polymer banknotes were developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and The University of Melbourne. Note Printing Australia (NPA) that produced Australian banknotes for 75 years and produces Australian Passports, introduced the first polymer banknote technology in 1988, after having been exposed to a counterfeit $10 decimal notes (made out of traditional banknote paper) in 1967.
These bank notes have security features to stay ahead of counterfeiting threats, these bank notes will last longer—at least two-and-a-half times longer than paper. Polymer notes can deteriorate in the presence of solvents and ultraviolet light, but will not be attacked by microbes like other traditional bank notes.
The $50 polymer note will follow next March.
The rest of the plastic money will be in circulation by the end of 2013.
A focus group took a close look at the $100 bill earlier this year and saw several offbeat images the designers didn’t count on.
Some in the group mistook a strand of DNA on the $100 bill for a sex toy.
Most people also thought the see-through window on the new polymer notes was shaped like the contours of a woman’s body.
Others looked into the port holes of a famed Canadian icebreaker and saw a skull and crossbones staring back at them.
Since the new notes were unveiled last June, Bank of Canada staff across the country have been training the millions of cash handlers and tens of thousands of police officers about how to check the security features of the notes. This training, of course, is ongoing.
The $50 note, which was also unveiled in June, will be issued in March 2012. The $20 note will begin circulating in late 2012, followed by the $10 and $5 notes by the end of 2013.