Central Bank mum on cost of introducing new $100 polymer note

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Polymer 100 TTD notes currently in circulation. – File photo by Jeff K Mayers

WHILE taxpayers across the country question the cost of designing and acquiring a new $100 polymer note to soon be added to circulation, the Central Bank says it “can’t give” such details.

The bank recently announced that a new $100 bank note will be released by the end of the year. However, it added that the note will be similar to the current one.

The $100 bill transitioned from a cotton note to polymer in 2019, while the $1, $5, $10 and $20 notes also gradually transitioned.

The supplier for Trinidad and Tobago’s bank notes remains UK company De La Rue International Ltd.

Asked by Sunday Newsday the total cost of making changes to the $100 bill again, the Central Bank – by e-mail – said, “While we’re unable to give details of the contract price, De La Rue International Ltd will supply the new notes at a cost, including design changes, that is not higher than the current cost of the existing $100 banknote.”

It said central banks typically order notes and coins from suppliers on an annual basis to distribute to banks.

“These notes and coins are of an approved design. In the case of the current $100 banknote, this design was done in 2019 (if you look at the note you will see the text 2019 Series).

“As part of the normal process across the world, the designs are adjusted periodically, taking into account ongoing developments in technology and security features.”

The bank said the only change will be an “enhanced security strip incorporating the bird of paradise.

“So the look and feel will be similar to the current banknote but the change will be obvious.”

The note will have clear windows that can be seen from the front and back, note denomination in coloured ink and raised dots to help visually impaired.

It added that the new bank notes are expected in either December 2024 or January 2025 and the design will be shared to the public over the next few months.

The bank said the current polymer notes have shown durability compared to the cotton-based ones.

Its strategic plans also outlined its intention to dive deeper into cybersecurity, as it plans to build on current collaborations while it gains practical experience with cybersecurity supervision.

Sunday Newsday also e-mailed De La Rue International Ltd but no response was provided.

In addition to this, Newsday contacted the Fraud Squad to get statistics on instances of counterfeit money being circulated from 2019-2023, but was told to contact Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher by e-mail. No response was provided to the e-mail.