New Canadian banknotes cost banks $100M

Dec. 8, 2011 at 9:58 AM
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OTTAWA, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Canadian banks and financial institutions will have to spend as much as $100 million to accommodate new high-tech $100 bills, the central bank says.

The bills that went into circulation last month feature a transparent window with two embedded metallic image, one of which shimmers when held up to light. Instead of the old cotton and paper components, the bills are made of a plastic polymer that make them feel filmy and smooth, the Toronto Star said.

Accordingly, the sorting and counting machines banks and other institutions use will need to be modified, Bank of Canada spokeswoman Julie Girard told the Star.

"In Canada, we have 500,000 machines that accept, dispense or sort bank notes," Girard said, adding that includes about 75,000 Automated Teller Machines.

The bills are the same size as the old ones, but weigh 10 percent less. They are also expected to last at least seven years, 2 1/2 times longer than the cloth-paper notes, Girard said.

She said the central bank spent two years educating banks, financial institutions and law enforcement groups about the bills.

In March, similar $50 bills will go into circulation, followed by $20, $10 and $5 bills by 2013, she said.

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