Plastic banknotes make official debut in Canada
To quote that little girl in Poltergeist: They're here.
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To quote that little girl in Poltergeist: They’re here.
As of November 13, Canadian banks began officially blending the first polymer $100 bills into circulation.
Designed to replace paper, the new $100 bills cost 19 cents to manufacture – almost double from the 10-cent paper bills – but the Bank of Canada (BoC) believes they will last longer than the existing ones; the new bills are made of thin layers of plastic that are nearly impossible to rip.
The polymer bills in Canada are a response to a sharp increase in counterfeiting rates a decade ago, as scanner technology got more sophisticated. The polymer banknotes have a see-through area that is not possible with ink on paper, which the BoC believes will make the bills extremely difficult to counterfeit.
Canada’s traditional paper banknotes, which are actually made of cotton fibre, will be removed from circulation over the next few years as more polymer denominations are introduced. The new polymer $50 bill will enter circulation in March 2012, while the rest of the denominations – the $20, $10 and $5 – will be released in 2013.
The BoC is using the $100 note as its test run for its other denominations, hoping to iron out any kinks in the introduction of the polymer bills.