Wednesday, 08 March 2023 11:22

New banknotes set for public release mid-June, says Clarke

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The new series of banknotes featuring national heroes and former prime ministers will be ready for public release by mid-June.

Finance and the Public Service Minister Dr Nigel Clarke provided the update on Tuesday as he opened the 2023/2024 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives.

“The timeline for the issue of the new notes into circulation by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) requires the banks to complete the adaptation of their automated banking machines (ABMS) and other equipment,” Clarke said.

“This process is advancing at steady pace. Following calibration of the ABMs, testing is scheduled for May 2023 with a view for implementation by mid-June 2023,” he said.

In the meantime, the BOJ’s public relations campaign has been fully developed and has been partially rolled out, as information details about the new banknotes have been published in the print media, on social media and also on the bank’s website.

Clarke said the BOJ’s public relations campaign will be fully rolled out by end of March 2023 across the entire island.

Former Prime Ministers Michael Manley and Edward Seaga are featured together on a new $2,000 banknote, while former Prime Ministers Hugh Shearer and Donald Sangster appear on the upgraded $5,000 banknote.

National Hero Marcus Garvey appears alone on the $100 note, national heroes Paul Bogle and William Gordon appear together on the $50 note, Sam Sharpe and Nanny of the Maroons are on the upgraded $500 note, while Norman Manley and Sir Alexander Bustamante appear together on the upgraded $1,000 note.

The upgraded banknotes have several safety features and are built to last longer. The features include:

• Latest in material technology to produce banknotes of greater durability;

• Greater durability reduces the frequency of replacement and, therefore, the whole-of-life cost of banknotes;

• New technologies allow for enhanced security features making counterfeiting extremely difficult, further reducing whole-of-life cost of banknotes;

• New technologies allow for features that better meet the needs of the visually impaired;

• Clear colour and other distinctions among and between banknotes of different denominations;

• With this upgrade, unlike what obtains now for certain denominations, several banknote printers will be able to print Jamaican banknotes, thus increasing competition and providing better assurance of competitive pricing in the future.