Updated currency designs contain RFID and other advanced mobile security technologies
06 November 2012

Updated currency designs contain RFID and other advanced mobile security technologies

New high tech currency is being outfitted with mobile technology.

Canada's new plastic $20 bills go into circulation on 7 November 2012. The $20 bill is the country's most widely used bank note.

The new bill was officially launched on 6 November 2012 with big hoopla at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

Apparently the new Canadian $20 bill does not contain any RFID chip used to track money but I cannot verify this fact. Microwaving a bank note makes the presence of an RFID chip obvious. RFID chips explode when they are microwaved.

Euro bank notes have an RFID radio tag in them so you can literally track people from location to location using RFID readers that are common in stores and can be easily placed in any location.

RFID tags have also been been found in the new US $20 bills. Some Americans have found alarms in shops being triggered by their wallets. If the offending $20 bills are microwaved, the right eye of Andrew Jackson on the new twenty dollar bill explodes and burns. This is the location of the RFID chip.

The Bank of Canada began issuing polymer money a year ago, and lauhched a beta with the $100 bill in November 2011, followed by the $50 note in March 2011.

These new fancy polymer notes are apparently more secure and durable than previous paper bills. It’s not accurate to call it paper money anymore, they are made of plastic.

Canadian officials at the Royal Canadian Mint claim that these new bills are amongst the most secure bank notes in the world. Security features include a large transparent area, a hologram, and a metallic element. Apparently no other nation has this combination of security feature.

The Canadian $100 bill costs $0.19 to manufacture, compared to $0.10 for a paper $100 bill. The new polymer bills last 2.5 times longer, saving money in the long run. When they are taken out of circulation, they can be recycled into other products. If you look at the entire recycling and lifespan advantage they are a greener alternative to paper money.

The greener $50 bill already went into circulation and it has a very similar design to the new $100 bill and retains the previous red colour with a big portrait of William Lyon Mackenzie King.

New plastic Canadian $5 and $10 notes are scheduled to be issued by the end of 2013.

The next time you pick up a bill think about the mobile technology that is being crammed into your new and improved plastic currency.

$20 Canadian Bill Factoid

  • The $20 bill is the most widely circulated note in Canada
  • There are 840 million twenties in circulation
  • Each paper bill lasts about 3 years
  • Each polymer bill lasts 7.5 years (minimum expected lifespan)  
  • It’s a little lighter and thinner too.  
  • There’s no RFID tracking chip in them.

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Security | Social Issues