Questions & Answers

Impact on Industry

How will my banknote processing equipment be affected?

It is likely that most equipment that accepts, dispenses, counts or otherwise processes banknotes will require some degree of upgrade, and some equipment may even need to be replaced. Users of banknote processing equipment should contact equipment manufacturers or distributors to discuss upgrade strategies.

How much is it going to cost to upgrade my machines?

This will depend on the type of equipment used and the nature of the upgrade. Users of banknote processing equipment should contact equipment manufacturers or distributors to discuss upgrade programs.

Who will pay to upgrade machines?

The costs associated with any equipment upgrade will be borne by the cash handling industry. It is important to note that by retaining the same substrate and banknote size, the Reserve Bank has reduced the cost impact to the industry.

By international standards, the Australian public has had to accommodate very few changes in its banknotes. The current banknote series has been in circulation for around 20 years. By contrast, most countries around the world introduce a new series every seven to 10 years.

How will the industry be consulted?

The Reserve Bank began engaging with equipment manufacturers in 2009. There has also been close engagement with machine users, to provide information that facilitates dialogue between users and suppliers. In order to prepare machines for the new banknotes, machine manufacturers will be provided with banknote samples as they become available. You can read more about our industry engagement history on our website.

How do I train my staff about the new security features?

We have developed materials to assist the industry to train and educate their staff and customers. They are available for download on the industry engagement hub. Our Industry Engagement team can also conduct security feature presentations for your staff, including train-the-trainer sessions and presentations for frontline staff. Please contact us if you would like to arrange a presentation.

Machine-readiness

What do we need to do to be machine-ready?

The Reserve Bank encourages all equipment users to contact equipment manufacturers or distributors to ensure access to information related to the changes that will be required to equipment, and to plan upgrade strategies. Equipment manufacturers that are not already doing so should also be encouraged to engage with the Reserve Bank.

Will I get Sample Notes for all denominations at the same time?

The industry will have access to samples of each denomination before it is issued; however, access to all denominations will not be at the same time. As was the case for the current series of banknotes, the issuance of the denominations will be staged across a number of years.

Will I have access to banknotes prior to release?

Test material will be made available to equipment manufacturers and users. Refer to Machines and test notes for the latest information.

Will the Reserve Bank test or verify any of the machines?

While the Reserve Bank will consult extensively with the industry and assist with machine-readiness where appropriate, users of equipment will need to ensure that current equipment, and any new equipment to be purchased, can adequately process the upgraded banknotes. The Reserve Bank encourages equipment users to engage with suppliers to ensure access to information regarding the changes that will be required to equipment, and to plan upgrade strategies.

Should I wait until all denominations are released to upgrade my equipment?

As was the case with the current series, it will take several years before all denominations are released and the public will expect banknote equipment to accept the upgraded banknotes.

What if my equipment manufacturer, vendor or third party service provider does not understand what is required?

Enquiries from equipment manufacturers should be directed to the Reserve Bank on IndustryEngagement@rba.gov.au or 1800 633 220.

Is the supplier of my machines engaged with the RBA?

The Reserve Bank has developed a list of program participants that are already engaging with us.

Who can I contact for more information about the new banknote series?

Contact the Reserve Bank via IndustryEngagement@rba.gov.au or or 1800 633 220.

Security Features

What will be different about the upgraded banknotes?

The upgraded banknotes will retain many of the key design elements of the current banknote series, such as the colour, size, people portrayed and a polymer substrate, but some design changes will be necessary to accommodate new security features.

What will be the new security features in this upgraded series?

The new banknotes include a top-to-bottom window containing multiple interactive security features, as well as a rolling colour effect, microprint and fluorescent ink. Further information about the security features on the new banknotes can be found in the Banknote Features and Counterfeit Detection sections of the Banknotes website.

Will the weight of the upgraded banknotes be the same?

The new series of banknotes are marginally lighter than the current series. We continue to be of the opinion that the practice of check weighing banknotes is inherently imprecise. This is due to variations in weight across different print runs.

The weight of the new (and current) banknotes also varies over time due to wear and soiling.

General

Why is the Reserve Bank upgrading Australia's banknotes?

The Next Generation Banknote (NGB) program seeks to increase the security of Australia's banknotes to remain secure against counterfeiting.

Does Australia currently have a counterfeiting problem?

No. Australian counterfeiting rates are low, both in absolute terms and compared with other countries. With the current series of banknotes approaching 20 years in circulation, however, and given the lead times involved in designing, testing and introducing new security features, the Reserve Bank has assessed that it is appropriate to invest in more secure banknote designs.

When will the upgraded banknotes be issued?

Considerable work has already been undertaken on this project since it was established in 2007, including the development and review of banknote designs and production trials of new security features. The first of Australia's next generation of banknotes, the new $5, was issued on 1 September 2016. The new $10 banknote enters circulation on 20 September 2017, followed by the new $50 and then the remaining denominations in subsequent years.

Will all of the denominations be issued at the same time?

As was the case for the current series of banknotes, the issuance of the denominations will be staggered across a number of years.

What will happen to the current banknotes when the upgraded banknotes are issued?

The current banknotes will be gradually withdrawn from circulation as upgraded banknotes are issued. All previous issues of Australian banknotes retain their legal tender status. The Reserve Bank and financial institutions in Australia will redeem old Australian banknotes at face value.

How long has the current series been in circulation?

The polymer $5 banknote was first issued in 1992, with the other denominations issued in subsequent years. At around 20 years, Australia's polymer banknote series is one of the longest circulating banknote series in the world. Typically, banknote series are replaced every seven to 10 years.

Is the Reserve Bank withdrawing the $100 banknote or introducing new denominations?

At this stage there are no plans to withdraw the $100 banknote or make any other change to the denominational mix of Australian banknotes.

Links to Other Machine Related Information