Newsmaker Week New banknotes cause excitement and concerns

Newsmaker… Week: New banknotes cause excitement and ‘concerns’

Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Cabinet colleague Olivia Grange recently examine samples of the new polymer Jamaican banknotes that have since gone in circulation nationally.

This week’s featured overall development as Newsmaker of the Week just ended is the overall continued reactions to Jamaica’s much-touted new polymer banknotes, with some concerns being raised about the durability of the notes following an assertion that $1,000 note did not have some of the applicable security features.

This is while there has been much excitement regarding the new notes, which people in the streets are calling “new money”.

The new banknotes were lodged in a limited number of ATMs on June 15, and people have been trying to get a look at them.

Some persons questioned the need for new-look bills when the value is the same as the old ones, while others saw the new currencies as just another part of the progress of the country.

Early last week, a new $1,000 note was flagged in a viral TikTok post by a woman, who seemingly showed missing security features on the note’s holographic foil.

The faulty new $1,000 banknote that hit the spotlight on social media last week.

The faulty new $1,000 banknote hit the spotlight on social media last week.

This prompted the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) to launch an investigation into the matter, while some persons carried out other experimentations by scratching selected new notes to see if they would be easily defaced.

The BOJ, in a release on Wednesday, confirmed that it had reached out to the user who initially posted the video on social media, but said all attempts to obtain the specific note in question had been unsuccessful.

By late Thursday, the woman in question relative to the reported faulty banknote posted a video in which she showed a receipt and a letter, both containing the BOJ’s logo, and stated that the central bank had replaced the purportedly faulty $1,000 note.

“The note received is a replacement for a $1,000 polymer banknote… which has a flaw,” read the letter from the BOJ to the woman, which was dated June 22.

She said she was happy that the issue had been rectified, and called on her critics to highlight that the matter was resolved and that she had not been creating public mischief.

The BOJ has since verified the authenticity of the letter, indicating that the faulty banknote has been replaced.

Before the woman brought in the note to the central bank, the BOJ had reassured the public that it has invested in cutting-edge technologies and conducted rigorous testing to ensure the durability and security of the polymer banknotes before their release into the circulation.

The BOJ advised in the process, that if a genuine banknote becomes damaged or compromised, it can be exchanged, but only at its office in Kingston.

Finally, the BOJ implored Jamaicans to refrain from intentionally subjecting the notes to unnecessary testing, referencing a video depicting liquid being poured on two banknotes.

The Bank of Jamaica's (BOJ) logo.

The Bank of Jamaica’s (BOJ) logo.

“The bank understands the curiosity and interest surrounding the new notes, and while the notes withstood the liquid test, it urges members of the public to desist from intentionally subjecting them to unnecessary tests,” emphasized the statement.

That warning, however, did not stop persons, including a local media entity, from significantly testing the new notes’ durability. In some instances, using a coin or key partially damaged the security features on the note’s holographic foil after numerous vigorous attempts.

Overall, the views of some Jamaicans on social media relative to the new banknotes and their durability remain largely mixed, while others have no concern over the notes, but are rather excited about using the ‘new money’.

“Why would anyone go out of their way to damage the new money? Jamaicans are just unruly, because once you don’t damage them, they (are) fine,” opined a woman on Facebook.

“Everybody going crazy over the new notes that have less value,” claimed a man.

Of the reactions relative to the woman with the defective note, a man asked: “All those (who) criticized her and wish her to be arrested for public mischief, how them feeling now?”

Many others simply expressed joy for the new money.

“I don’t care what anyone says, I love the feel of the money and it’s pretty bad. Big up Nigel (Clarke, Finance Minister),” a woman said.

“The new money feels different, like Canadian money. Mi loves it bad. Jamaicans just too negative and don’t like new things,” a man remarked.

Another said jokingly: “A new money mi want in my barber shop, no more old money because the money nice bad.”


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