Most retailers have had their concerns when it comes to counterfeit bills.  Due to this, many retailers have even stopped taking bills larger than $20.  The retailers that still accept the larger bills usually use some type of counterfeit detection system at the point of sale.

Toward the end of 2011, the Bank of Canada started putting new banknotes into circulation.  They started out with $100 bills and $50 bills.  The $20, $10 and $5 are expected to roll out by the end of 2013.  With these new notes in circulation, it is important to learn how to tell them apart from counterfeit bills.

The Bank of Canada has created an employee handbook that helps businesses to check the notes that are received.  There is also a quiz that can be given to the employees to ensure that they understand how to properly check to make sure that the bills are real.

The handbook emphasizes the importance of feeling the bills, looking at the bills, and flipping the bills over.

  • By feeling the bills, you will notice that they are smooth and unique in texture.
  • By looking at the bills, you can see the transparency through the window, and around the outline of the maple leaf.
  • By looking at the bills, you can also see a very detailed metallic portrait.
  • By flipping the bills over, you can see that the colors and details on both sides of the note are very similar.

Handling these new banknotes should be done with extreme care.  When opening and unpacking the new bills, it is important to not use scissors or other sharp objects.  They should be unpacked carefully and separated by shuffling them.  The new polymer notes should be stored separately from the paper notes that are currently in circulation.

The new banknotes may also not be read by all of the machines that are currently in use.  The equipment suppliers will be able to let you know if they are readable by the cash counters, vending machines, self-service checkout machines, and other machines that handle cash.

It is very important to watch out for counterfeit bills while these new bills start making an entrance into your cash flow.  If you take counterfeit bills, you will just be out the money because the Bank of Canada doesn’t reimburse for counterfeit bills.

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