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Central bank introduces new P10 notes

The Bank of Botswana (BoB) says it will issue new P10 notes that are cleaner, more secure, and more durable than the current paper banknotes effective February next year.

Addressing the media yesterday, the bank governor Moses Pelaelo said a decision was taken in response to persistent public concerns regarding a poor quality of the current circulating P10 paper banknote.

He said in accordance with the Bank of Botswana Act, the Bank then took the decision to change the sub straight for the P10 banknote through the approval of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development (MFED).

“We have observed that the current P10 banknote is highly soiled by the time it is deposited at the bank for sorting and extraction as maybe necessary. Consequently, the bank also determined that the high number of soiled P10 banknote in circulation has the potential to undermine public confidence in the quality of the national currency and is also likely to tarnish the country’s image,” he said.  According to the governor, the conversion to polymer bank notes enables the adoption of more advanced security features such as see through window that contain hard to forge images hence curtail the potential for currency counterfeiting and enhancing confidence in our national currency.

Wikipedia describes polymer banknotes as banknotes made from a polymer such as biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP), noting that such notes incorporate many security features not available in paper banknotes, including the use of metameric inks.

“We have applied a vanish on the P10 banknote to extend its lifespan. This notwithstanding

the quality of the P10 banknote continues to be a principal public concern partly because of its low value but high circulation as it is rarely deposited in commercial banks or onward transmission to the bank,” Pelaelo said.

The polymer banknote has a clear window, which replaces the watermark in the old paper banknote. When held up against the light, a rampant zebra can be seen in the clear window from the bank’s crest on both sides of the banknote. The figure 10 can also be seen in the shield besides the rampant zebra.

Pelaelo said polymer sub straight is a thin clear plastic film that can be printed on similar to the paper sub straight. He said it enables the adoption of more advanced high technology security enhancements and features such as holograms and see through windows, which are hard to forge images.

As the lowest denomination, he said the P10 banknote has the highest circulation rate and stays longer in circulation compared to higher denominations.

He said under normal circumstances the current paper P10 banknote is expected to remain in circulation for a period of approximately an average of four months.

However, the governor said it has been observed that the current P10 banknote tend to remain in circulation for a period of approximately eight months because it is largely used as a change.




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