JAM | Jun 2, 2023

Jamaica Bankers Association ready for circulation of new polymer notes

/ Our Today

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President of the Bankers’ Association, Septimus ‘Bob’ Blake

The Jamaica Bankers’ Association (JBA) has indicated that they are actively collaborating with the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) to ensure a smooth transition for the upcoming introduction and circulation of the recently redesigned polymer banknotes, for mid-June.

President of the Bankers’ Association, Septimus ‘Bob’ Blake says the transition is an important move towards modernising Jamaica’s monetary system because polymer notes have advanced security features.

“Polymer notes are more durable, reducing reprinting costs and saving valuable resources. They have advanced security features, such as embedded threads and holographic elements, making counterfeiting more challenging and ensuring currency integrity. The JBA is committed to supporting the BOJ to ensure a smooth transition and successful implementation,” he added.

He added that the implementation of Automated Banking Machines (ABM) and banking infrastructure upgrades with the introduction of new polymer notes, adjustments to ABMs and other physical banking infrastructure are already underway.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, points to the new series of Jamaican banknotes as he opened the 2022/23 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (March 8). Jamaica’s newly designed banknotes will be available for circulation late this calendar year. (Photo: JIS)

The JBA President also confirmed that retrofitting ABMs to accommodate the distribution of new notes is a standard procedure, which has been successfully executed in previous instances.

“All banking entities have been actively involved in the process to get the 800+ ABMs islandwide ready for this transition. We are united in our efforts and collectively working towards completing the upgrades,” concluded Blake.

He noted that customer should look out for advisories from their respective banks regarding the completion of upgrades to their ABM fleets, and when the new notes will be available from their machines. Additionally, each entity will advise customers when they are ready to facilitate dispensation of the new polymer banknotes and accept them for lodgements.

Phased introduction of new banknotes

Blake also emphasised that the circulation of the new polymer notes will take place on a phased basis. This will ensure a seamless transition from the old notes to the new ones. In the interim, both the current notes and the new polymer notes will coexist and remain legal tender.

Therefore, no individual or business will be disadvantaged if they are unable to access the new notes immediately. The JBA is dedicated to maintaining clear and open communication during this transition and will continue to provide updates to the public as the rollout progresses.


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