New Canadian $20 bill not accepted everywhere
Reported problems using polymer bill at ticket machines in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton
Canadians across the country are finding those crisp new $20 bills might not be accepted everywhere.
The new polymer bill went into circulation earlier this month, but consumers looking to use the country's most widely used banknote are finding certain machines can't process their money.
CBC News has learned that ticket vending machines for Vancouver's TransLink and Toronto's GO Transit both don't accept the new bill, which was revamped by the Bank of Canada to deter counterfeiters.
GO Transit said it discovered the glitch after testing the bills, and their "machines will need a software upgrade in order to accept the new bills."
A software upgrade is also underway in Edmonton, after the city's transit system discovered that fare machines were not recognizing the new bills.
The Bank of Canada's senior analyst Julie Girard said they've been working since 2009 with bank note equipment manufacturers and financial institutions to help facilitate a smooth transition to the polymer series.
"It’s a natural thing when we change series," said Girard. "Even when we've changed from one paper series to the next before polymer was introduced we still had to upgrade the machines."
Across Canada there are roughly half a million machines, such as ticket vending machines and ATMs, that process bank notes.
Acknowledging the problem these new polymer bills have posed for manufacturers, Girard said the bank provided them with the new notes up to six months before they went into circulation so they could make neccesary adjustments.
What's not clear, however, is if the cost of upgrades will eventually be passed on to consumers.
The Royal Canadian Mint created a headache to the tune of $40 million for the vending industry earlier this year when it released lighter versions of the loonie and toonie.
The $20 bill is the third note to get a makeover, following on the heels of the $100 and $50 bills released earlier this year. Paper bills will remain in circulation as the new notes are gradually introduced to Canadians.
The Bank of Canada has said the new polymer notes are more secure and durable than earlier bills.
"These notes are going to be cleaner and they're going to process more efficiently," said Julie Girard, senior analyst at the bank.
New plastic $5 and $10 notes are scheduled to be issued by the end of 2013.