The Bank of Canada announced Plastic $100 bills here this fall - 20s, 10s to follow -
The Bank of Canada announced details Thursday of its new series of “polymer” bank notes, which will be released beginning later this year.
In November, the bank will roll out $100 bills, with a new $50 coming next March, and the rest -- $20, $10 and $5 – in 2013.
Given the public moaning and groaning over the introduction of $1 and $2 coins in 1987 and 1996, there might well be some resistance to the new bills, too. But Bank spokesperson Julie Girard points out that the howling about the coins has all but died out.
But the Bank doesn’t just want Canadians to get used to the new bills; it wants us to actually like them.
“When Canadians see this new series, I think they will be proud,” said Girard, who notes that the old bills will still be legal tender.
Plastic bills might sound like an odd idea, but they’ve been around for almost three decades. The first countries to use them were Costa Rica, Haiti and the Isle of Man, in 1983. In 1988, Australia introduced its first plastic money. Since 1996, all of Australia’s bills have been plastic.
Security is the main consideration in using the new material, rather than the cotton-based paper used in current bills, Girard says. But she admits there are some pretty hefty savings, too.
“This new series has been created with some very robust security features. To get the same features in paper bills, it would cost an extra $200 million over the course of their lifespan,” said Girard.
The Bank won’t be releasing any details on what the new bills will look like until later this year; unveiling them now would give counterfeiters a head start, defeating the purpose of having new high-security bills.