New polymer notes now reality in ECCU

ECCB polymer notes

ECCB Governor Timothy N.J. Antoine


By Bennette Roach

East Caribbean Currency Bank (ECCB) Governor Timothy N.J. Antoine announced in April, that the much touted new ‘polymer notes would be launched in June this year. It was then on May 29, 2019, the launch was celebrated via the still being upgraded video-tele conference to members in the East Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and hosted by the Governor from the ECCB agency office in Grenada.

At the launch the Governor announced that the rollout will begin with the $50 notes placed in circulation immediately in June.

These will run concurrently with the existing paper notes during the transition phase. The $10, $20 and $100 polymer banknotes are scheduled for launch in September 2019, while the five-dollar banknotes will be launched in September 2020.

polymer notes are vertical

Not so fast though for Montserrat. The Governor explained that there will be a delay owing to a substantial stock of paper notes present in the Montserrat market which is also the case in the Anguilla market. As a result there is no need for the supply of the new notes until these markets see a decrease in the $50 notes.

During the live stream event Governor Antoine in his address informed that the new notes are of a higher quality and has advanced features compared to the old paper notes.

“Compared to paper notes, polymer notes are cleaner,” he said. They are resistant to dirt and moisture – more secure – they have advanced security features which make them harder to counterfeit – more durable as they last at least, three (to five) times longer than paper notes and more environmentally friendly,” he informed.

“The switch to polymer necessitated some changes to the designs of the notes in respect of technical and security specifications. However, even with these new design elements, we were careful to maintain a degree of familiarity for ease of use,” Antoine stated.

Governor Antoine also revealed that the new notes will also have a new design feature which will make it easier for persons with visual impairment to identify the notes. He said, “Very importantly, we have incorporated a feature [raised bumps] to make it easy for the blind and visually impaired to handle their money and their business.”

Additionally, a holographic foil strip has been introduced as an anti-counterfeiting feature on the $20, $50 and $100, which are most susceptible to counterfeiting.

The ECCB Governor explained that, “The circulation of the new notes will be phased. As unfit paper notes are returned to the Central Bank and our current inventory of paper notes is depleted, they will be replaced by polymer notes…Therefore, as a practical matter, the public ought to expect that both paper and polymer notes will be in circulation at the same time. They are both legal tender.”

At the beginning of his address, the Governor no doubt anticipating the very familiar question about the status of the EC$ said: “I hereby confirm that our EC dollar is strong. As of Friday, 24 May, 2019, the backing ratio was 98.4 per cent.”

“More importantly,” he continues. “our foreign reserves continue to grow and now total US$1.75 billion.”

The motivation for the move from ‘paper’ to ‘polymer’, he noted:  “Simply put, to enhance the security and usability of our EC notes.”

Earlier boasting that the ECCB is the first Central Bank in the region to move to polymer notes, he said: “To maintain trust and to stay ahead of counterfeiters, our Central Bank has a duty of care, indeed an obligation, to continually upgrade our notes. But our motivation is also personal.”

That he explained arose out of , “…I have had fishermen and vendors lament to me, their inability to get value for their notes after they were soiled or torn.  These stories have affected me.  I have asked myself how can our Central Bank help ensure that these hardworking folks get full value for their hard-earned money?  I believe polymer will greatly ease this hardship,” he said.

“From an economic standpoint, polymer notes are more cost-effective than paper,” he explained further, noting, “Although polymer notes are more expensive to produce upfront, their extended lifespan means that the notes are replaced less often.”

He concluded: “Consequently, there will be a reduction in transportation and handling costs thus reducing the overall cost of cash for the ECCB, commercial banks and credit unions.”

Then came the announcement: “Today, we unveil the first note in the EC family of notes – the EC$50,” describing as he immortalises his predecessor, “This new note bears the image of our late, great Governor, the Honourable Sir K Dwight Venner who served from December 1989 until November 2015.  Once again, I hail the colossal contribution of my illustrious predecessor. 

He said the new design features also include the signature of the current Governor, adding as well that the new notes also sport a portrait orientation design, which is a move away from the current landscape orientation of the paper notes.

“In conclusion, today is, indeed, a happy occasion for our Currency Union – your new notes are considerably better hence the tagline of our public education campaign: cleaner, safer, stronger.  Moreover, they are aesthetically pleasing.  Above all, they are a symbol of regional accomplishment,” the Governor beamed as we watched him on the video screen at the agency office at Brades.

See the following videos about the polymer notes:

EC Polymer Notes: Design and Features –  

https://youtu.be/H8yC8W4bdQ4?list=PL8ouir-JT8-x0-L8OJ480Ov1Wxtes1lXn

EC Polymer Notes – Cleaner, Safer, Stronger – https://youtu.be/51sOA-W0NWQ?list=PL8ouir-JT8-x0-L8OJ480Ov1Wxtes1lXn

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ECCB polymer notes

ECCB Governor Timothy N.J. Antoine


By Bennette Roach

East Caribbean Currency Bank (ECCB) Governor Timothy N.J. Antoine announced in April, that the much touted new ‘polymer notes would be launched in June this year. It was then on May 29, 2019, the launch was celebrated via the still being upgraded video-tele conference to members in the East Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and hosted by the Governor from the ECCB agency office in Grenada.

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At the launch the Governor announced that the rollout will begin with the $50 notes placed in circulation immediately in June.

These will run concurrently with the existing paper notes during the transition phase. The $10, $20 and $100 polymer banknotes are scheduled for launch in September 2019, while the five-dollar banknotes will be launched in September 2020.

polymer notes are vertical

Not so fast though for Montserrat. The Governor explained that there will be a delay owing to a substantial stock of paper notes present in the Montserrat market which is also the case in the Anguilla market. As a result there is no need for the supply of the new notes until these markets see a decrease in the $50 notes.

During the live stream event Governor Antoine in his address informed that the new notes are of a higher quality and has advanced features compared to the old paper notes.

“Compared to paper notes, polymer notes are cleaner,” he said. They are resistant to dirt and moisture – more secure – they have advanced security features which make them harder to counterfeit – more durable as they last at least, three (to five) times longer than paper notes and more environmentally friendly,” he informed.

“The switch to polymer necessitated some changes to the designs of the notes in respect of technical and security specifications. However, even with these new design elements, we were careful to maintain a degree of familiarity for ease of use,” Antoine stated.

Governor Antoine also revealed that the new notes will also have a new design feature which will make it easier for persons with visual impairment to identify the notes. He said, “Very importantly, we have incorporated a feature [raised bumps] to make it easy for the blind and visually impaired to handle their money and their business.”

Additionally, a holographic foil strip has been introduced as an anti-counterfeiting feature on the $20, $50 and $100, which are most susceptible to counterfeiting.

The ECCB Governor explained that, “The circulation of the new notes will be phased. As unfit paper notes are returned to the Central Bank and our current inventory of paper notes is depleted, they will be replaced by polymer notes…Therefore, as a practical matter, the public ought to expect that both paper and polymer notes will be in circulation at the same time. They are both legal tender.”

At the beginning of his address, the Governor no doubt anticipating the very familiar question about the status of the EC$ said: “I hereby confirm that our EC dollar is strong. As of Friday, 24 May, 2019, the backing ratio was 98.4 per cent.”

“More importantly,” he continues. “our foreign reserves continue to grow and now total US$1.75 billion.”

The motivation for the move from ‘paper’ to ‘polymer’, he noted:  “Simply put, to enhance the security and usability of our EC notes.”

Earlier boasting that the ECCB is the first Central Bank in the region to move to polymer notes, he said: “To maintain trust and to stay ahead of counterfeiters, our Central Bank has a duty of care, indeed an obligation, to continually upgrade our notes. But our motivation is also personal.”

That he explained arose out of , “…I have had fishermen and vendors lament to me, their inability to get value for their notes after they were soiled or torn.  These stories have affected me.  I have asked myself how can our Central Bank help ensure that these hardworking folks get full value for their hard-earned money?  I believe polymer will greatly ease this hardship,” he said.

“From an economic standpoint, polymer notes are more cost-effective than paper,” he explained further, noting, “Although polymer notes are more expensive to produce upfront, their extended lifespan means that the notes are replaced less often.”

He concluded: “Consequently, there will be a reduction in transportation and handling costs thus reducing the overall cost of cash for the ECCB, commercial banks and credit unions.”

Then came the announcement: “Today, we unveil the first note in the EC family of notes – the EC$50,” describing as he immortalises his predecessor, “This new note bears the image of our late, great Governor, the Honourable Sir K Dwight Venner who served from December 1989 until November 2015.  Once again, I hail the colossal contribution of my illustrious predecessor. 

He said the new design features also include the signature of the current Governor, adding as well that the new notes also sport a portrait orientation design, which is a move away from the current landscape orientation of the paper notes.

“In conclusion, today is, indeed, a happy occasion for our Currency Union – your new notes are considerably better hence the tagline of our public education campaign: cleaner, safer, stronger.  Moreover, they are aesthetically pleasing.  Above all, they are a symbol of regional accomplishment,” the Governor beamed as we watched him on the video screen at the agency office at Brades.

See the following videos about the polymer notes:

EC Polymer Notes: Design and Features –  

https://youtu.be/H8yC8W4bdQ4?list=PL8ouir-JT8-x0-L8OJ480Ov1Wxtes1lXn

EC Polymer Notes – Cleaner, Safer, Stronger – https://youtu.be/51sOA-W0NWQ?list=PL8ouir-JT8-x0-L8OJ480Ov1Wxtes1lXn