In 2009 the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) first announced its plan to introduce plastic currency notes. And now after 2 years the Indian government is all set to introduce 100 crore plastic bank notes in denomination of Rs 10 on trial basis. This was announced in a recent Lok Sabha session and the field trial will be conducted in five locations.
Why Plastic Notes Instead of Paper Notes?
Every year there are around 1 billion currency notes printed around the globe. Majority of these printed currency is paper currency. Paper currency was first developed in China during the Tang and Song dynasties, starting in the 7th century. Paper currency solved many problems posed by metal coins. Paper currency is easy to manufacture, easy to transport and lightweight to carry. The Chinese were smart.
Off late it has become very tedious to manage paper currency due to two main problems. The first one is its short life span and the second is the ease at which counterfeits can be made.
The average life span of a paper currency is expected around 1 year. Also it has become quite easy to print fake paper currency.
Plastic currency is very much stronger and their durability increases in many folds compared to paper. Another biggest advantage of them is it’s near impossible to fake. Printing of plastic bank notes is a painstaking and high tech affair.
Australia First to Introduce and Many Countries Use Plastic Currency
Plastic currency was developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and The University of Melbourne in 1988. By the year of 2010 along with Australia six other countries converted fully to plastic currency: Bermuda, Brunei, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Romania, and Vietnam.
How Is Plastic Currency Made
Here is a short video of how plastic currency is made in high tech printing environment.
- Printing process for plastic money – A graphical illustration of plastic currency printing process
- The world’s first polymer banknote
- Meet Canada’s new plastic banknotes
cc image credit: wikipedia