The new set of notes are composed of Polymer instead of the traditional paper currency. They feature a number of new innovative security features, including clear windows in two places on the note, as well as some foil holograms. From a layman’s perspective, the notes seem thinner, and feel slippery compared to the notes we used to have. Older notes had a texture to them from the cotton/paper combination they were printed on. In general, the notes seem very space age, and I fully expect cashiers to be surprised and confused by them for a while.
Canadian retailers should be sure to review the resources for retailers put in place by the Bank of Canada to be prepared for the release of the $100 notes today, the $50 in March 2012, and the $20,$10, and $5 in 2013.
Retailers should ensure that all cash handling technology is able to accommodate the new $100 notes as soon as possible. Impacted solutions include: note acceptors, note dispensers, and note recyclers on self-checkouts, kiosks and vending machines. It also includes consideration of note counting and fraudulent note detection solutions. At the very least, because of the new security features, software updates will probably be required for any solution that has to detect the note electronically. As notes are not changing in size or shape, there will not be any changes required to traditional cash drawers or cash drawer inserts at present.
Let us know your experiences with the notes. Once you are comfortable with that, stay tuned for the Royal Canadian mint to update the our coins.