The Reserve Bank of Australia is underway with a roll-out of new banknotes, starting with the new $5 note which will be in circulation from 1 September this year.
The new $5 note will feature a distinct top-to-bottom transparent window in the middle of the note, a tactile element to aid those who are visually impaired, along with illustrations of wattle and a native bird. These characteristics will also feature on the other denominations when they are released, however, the colour palette, people featured and sizes of the notes will remain the same.
This new note issue has significant implications for clubs, pubs and casinos that will need to have any cash handling equipment updated to be able to recognise the new banknotes. With over 50 channels of security on a note – including infrared, UV, colour spectrum, reflective and refractive properties – it’s important that all cash handling equipment be able to recognise the properties of the new banknotes.
Ecash, as one of the largest payment solution providers to the hospitality industry, particularly with respect to gaming, has been in consultation with the Federal Reserve in regards to the new banknotes and has updated all of their equipment accordingly.
Richard Soussa, general manager of sales and marketing for ecash, highlighted the interplay between banknotes and cash handling equipment within a gaming venue saying “A banknote might go into a gaming machine, and that gaming machine validates the authenticity of the note. From there, a note might come out of that gaming machine and go into a Cash Redemption Terminal (CRT) to get validated, and then more cash is dispensed from those terminals. That cash could then end up in a cashier room and be counted, so it needs to be authenticated again. So if you look at the entire cash cycle of a venue, it’s completely reliant on being able to recognise the authenticity of a note.”
In the first instance, Soussa recommends venues produce an audit report of their gaming floor i.e. which machines they have on the floor, and more importantly, which bill acceptors they have in those gaming machines.
Once you have made such a report, it’s time then to organise for your payment systems provider to update both your hardware and software so that it will accept the new banknotes. Soussa suggests with ecash equipment that it will take roughly 20 minutes for a firmware update per bill acceptor while hardware updates to gaming machines can take up to an hour per machine. The same amount of time will roughly be needed per CRT.
Mr Soussa also strongly recommends that venues act now and start planning and booking in their change overs because come September, everyone will be clambering for attention.
As for when the larger denominations are rolled out, a software update will be needed for each new banknote, but the hardware update will only need to be done the one time.
Assuming all goes well with the $5 note, most likely the Federal Reserve will release the other denominations in groups if not all at once.
It is important to note that if your cash handling equipment has not been upgraded, the new banknote release will not work in your equipment.