New BAnknotes Q&A

New Banknotes Q&A Video Transcript

The Reserve Bank is upgrading Australia's banknotes in order to upgrade the security features.

The current series of banknotes is nearly 25 years old; obviously technology has moved a long way in that time, access and the quality of printing technology is a lot greater so we need to stay well ahead of the counterfeiters so it's really about the security.

In order to focus on that we've kept a lot of the other features quite similar the same.

So the banknotes are still Australian banknotes, they're made of plastic so you can still go swimming with them.

The colour is much the same, the people portrayed on the banknotes is the same, the size of the banknote is the same, so it should be very recognisable for people as an Australian five dollar banknote, but just look refreshed and a little bit more modern.

Traditionally one of the things that we've always done on Australian banknotes is actually having the Monarch on the lowest denomination of the banknote.

Our new banknotes have a different architecture and they have new security features so the design is changing to accommodate those.

The new banknotes will have a number of accessibility features to help people with vision impairment.  We will continue to use the size differentials, the bold numerals and also the different colours. And in addition to that we'll be adding a tactile feature in the form of a raised bump along the edges of the banknote.

Each denomination on the new banknotes will have a different bird and a different wattle. They'll all come from different areas of Australia.

We have subject matter experts available to provide us information on each bird and wattle to ensure that we've got the right design and the right wattle and bird matching.

You will see the new five dollar banknote from the 1st of September this year.

But of course there are 170 million five dollar banknotes around the economy, that's a very big logistical exercise to replace all of those.

So it will take time for those banknotes to get from us to the bank, to the public.

When the new banknote comes into circulation people can still continue to use their old banknotes.

In fact we still receive quite a number of paper banknotes every week, it takes a long time for them to fully return.  That just reflects on how many banknotes there are in the economy.

We've been engaged with machine manufacturers since 2009 and we've been working closely with them to make sure their machines are capable of transporting and processing the new banknotes.  More recently, we've been working with owners of the new machines to make sure those upgrades are installed ready for the new banknotes on the 1st of September.

A lot of people don't really think about everything that's involved in producing a banknote but actually it's an incredibly complicated thing to produce technically, but also reflecting the fact that essentially everybody in the community uses currency.

This is a program that actually goes back nearly 10 years, and the reason for that is that there's a considerable amount of work in actually ensuring that the designs are correct, the security features are the ones that work effectively and that they all work together once they get put on a banknote and put into circulation.

It's cost around $37 million to design, develop the banknotes, to create the concept design to turn that into something that actually looks like a banknote, to do the trialling and the testing on the production side to make sure we can produce it in sufficient volumes. That though I guess needs to be seen in the context of nearly one and half billion banknotes in circulation with a value of around $70 billion.

I can't wait for the new banknotes to come out in Australia.