Feel, Look, Flip: Tips for handling Canada's new bank notes

January 16, 2012 - Tags: Sales

Retailers in Canada have been concerned about counterfeit money for a long time. Some retailers have stopped accepting $50 and $100 bills, while others have put counterfeit detection systems in place at their cash registers.

In November 2011, the Bank of Canada started rolling out a series of new polymer bank notes with increased security and durability. The $100 bills were released in November 2011, the $50 bills are expected in March 2012, and the $5, $10 and $20 bills will be ready by late 2013.

An Employee Handbook created by the Bank of Canada can help you train your employees to check the bank notes they receive from customers. The handbook even includes a quiz to test your employees once they have reviewed the material.

Remember the key phrase emphasized in the handbook is Feel, Look and Flip:

  • Feel the smooth, unique texture of the note.
  • Look for transparency through the large window and in the outline of the frosted maple leaf window.
  • Look at the details in the metallic portrait and in the building in the large window.
  • Flip the note to see the metallic portrait and building repeated in the same colours and detail on the other side of the large window.

Be sure to handle the bills carefully. Do not use scissors, box cutters or knives to unpack new bills. Carefully unpack them with a letter opener and separate them by fanning or shuffling them. The Bank of Canada suggests that you keep polymer and paper notes separate in your till and bundle them separately in your bank deposit. This will help them remove the old bills from circulation.

Something else to keep in mind is bank note machine readiness. Ask your equipment suppliers if new bank notes work in:

  • Cash counters
  • Vending machines
  • Change machines
  • Self-serve checkouts
  • Other cash-handling machines

Learn more about the bank notes and tips for handling them in your business by reading the Employee Handbook and watching the short video.

Access additional materials including more videos, training materials, procedures for dealing with suspect notes and surveys in the Bank of Canada's materials for retailers.

Remember — you will not be reimbursed for counterfeit notes that you accept from your customers, so make sure your employees are in the habit of checking notes and that they know to refuse notes they suspect may be counterfeit.

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