The Reserve Bank of Australia took a significant step when it introduced a new $5 banknote earlier this year. With many new notes set to be released during the year, it seemed like a new and exciting venture until it was implemented. Currently, self-service check-outs, vending machines and poker machines appear to be rejecting the new notes.
The refurbished notes were introduced as a new way of simplifying things for people with reduced level of vision, thus also decreasing the bank note’s imitation-friendly qualities. However, machines are now rejecting the new Aussie $5 notes which are due to the transparent “holographic” mid-section which makes it harder to read.
Nick Aronis, President of the National Vending Association, told The Daily Telegraph “The note reader (of a vending machine) starts to read the note and sees the clear strip, it identifies that as the end of the note and of course it can’t recognise it, so it spits it back out.”
Chief grocery outlet, Woolworths has had to update its self-service points, including 100, 0000 vending machines which are awaiting the new upgrade. The advance is set to cost A$20 million and will enable the machines to recognise the new Aussie $5 notes.
Consumer advocacy group Choice, Erin Turner said that companies had full knowledge of the currency challenge and the required upgrade for well over 12 months. However, these companies failed to act sooner rather than later.
“Consumers rightly expected companies to be able to accept Australian currency. These companies need to get their act together,” said Turner.