In an effort to make its currency more secure, Canada is moving to polymer-based bank notes. All right, so this is not “paperless” per se, but it got you reading, didn’t it? Seriously, though, this move from a paper- to a plastic-based note has many advantages and ramifications for the current system.
For starters, security is the main priority. Gone are the days when a fly-by-night counterfeiter can scan and print out a bill on his desktop printer. Although these delinquents are most often caught, I am sure that some of them get away with it given the right techniques of printing and aging. The polymer notes are virtually impossible to counterfeit using consumer-available products. Take a moment and watch this video, which highlights the security measures in place.
Besides the enhanced security features, this polymer note will extend the life expectancy of the currency, which will in turn reduce the need to constantly replenish the inventory. The presumable hope is that the increased costs will be offset by the longer life of the product. Needless to say, the costs associated with polymer notes as opposed to paper notes will be greatly offset by putting an end to counterfeit currency.
While the implementation cycle––from now until late 2013––may seem drawn out, this marks a turn of events in the currency markets, and more countries are guaranteed to follow Canada’s lead. The question is: When will the USA upgrade its currency to these standards?
Author: John Mehl