There are big changes coming to our $20 notes — including clever features which will make it a counterfeiter’s nightmare.
The new design was revealed by the Reserve Bank today, ahead of the note’s national rollout in October this year.
While the updated notes will still feature Mary Reibey and Reverend John Flynn — who are both included on the current version — they will also come with a raft of new, state-of-the-art security features.
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RBA Governor Philip Lowe said “improved security and ease of recognition” were key to the redesign, which now includes the same “innovative” anti-counterfeiting features used on the $5 note and $10 notes, released in September 2016 and September 2017, and the $50 notes, released last October.
These new elements include a top-to-bottom clear window that contains dynamic elements, including a flying kookaburra that moves its wings and changes colour, and a reversing number 20.
There will also be a patch with a “rolling-colour effect” as well as “microprint” showcasing excerpts from Mr Flynn’s book, The Bushman’s Companion, and the names of Ms Reibey’s ships.
As with the $5, $10 and $50, the new banknote includes representations of a wattle and a native bird — this time, Acacia buxifolia and a Laughing Kookaburra will make an appearance.
It has also been designed to make it easier for people who are blind or have vision issues to use, including a “tactile” feature to make identification easier.
The new $20 note has three raised bumps on each long edge, which will make it easier to distinguish from other notes.
In the lead up to the note’s rollout, the RBA will work with banknote equipment manufacturers and retailers to help them prepare ATMs and other machines to handle the new $20 banknote without hassle.
Existing $20 notes — also known as “lobsters” — can still be used
Mr Lowe said he was pleased the new note would still celebrate Mr Flynn and Ms Reibey.
“The new $20 banknote continues to celebrate the lives of two outstanding Australians,” Mr Lowe said.
“Their stories are told through the images we have incorporated on the banknote, which provide a rich and diverse narrative about their life in Australia.”
Mary Reibey, who arrived in Australia as a convict, eventually became a respected businesswoman who ran a thriving shipping and trading company.
She was also well-loved due to her involvement in education, religion and charity.
Meanwhile, John Flynn pioneered the world’s first aerial medical service in 1928, which grew to become the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
The organisation covers an area of 7.65 million square kilometres of outback and is still the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical emergency and healthcare service in the world.
The RBA will release a new $100 note later in 2019.
Last year, RBA Assistant Governor Lindsay Boulton said the features included on Australia’s redesigned notes would make it “very difficult for counterfeiters” to reproduce illegally.
“Large clear windows on polymer banknotes are extremely difficult to counterfeit without it being obvious that the banknote is a counterfeit,” Mr Boulton told The Australian ahead of the $20 note’s release.
He told the publication the demand for banknotes was growing by about 3 per cent each year despite the popularity of electronic payment.
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