There have been media reports that counterfeiters are making use of advanced commercial printers to produce fake banknotes. Australia introduced polymer notes in 1988 to celebrate the country’s 200th year of independence. In 1996, a complete switch was made to Plastic Substrate. It was believed that this new material is resistant to counterfeiting. However, there are reports that counterfeiting is increasing at a fast rate in several countries like Australia, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden. For Australia, It has become 17 notes per million today from 5 notes per million in 2003.
Reports claim that the latest printers worth $55,000 have the capacity to print any colour on any material. $50 notes are being counterfeited on a large scale because of great returns and minimal risk. They make up 47% of all notes in circulation, and 80% of all counterfeit notes. Out of the officially detected 25,491 fake bank notes in 2016 and 2017, 20,749 were $50 notes, 4,302 were $100 notes, 320 were $20 notes, 91 were $10 notes and 29 were $5 notes. The fake notes had a total face value of $1,475,105, out of which $50 fake notes were worth $1,037,450.
37 million Australian dollars have already been spent in 12 years on research and testing. The Reserve Bank will be releasing a new $50 – the third issue in a new series, in 2018.
Images courtesy of Reserve Bank of Australia.