The Bank of Canada launched it’s first polymer bank note with the release of the new $100 bill on November 14, 2011. The $100 bill has three key accessibility features to help those with vision loss better identify bank notes.
Tactile features (raised dots that identify a note’s value) present on previous bank notes, will now last longer, thanks to the more durable polymer material. These dots can be found in the top left corner of the new bill. The new bank notes also feature high contrast numbers: a dark number with a pale background on the front, and a white number with a dark background on the back. And, electronic bank note readers, which identifies bills through machine-readable codes, can read both short edges of the note, not just the left edge as with previous bank notes.
The new series of polymer bills comes after a two-year collaboration between the Bank of Canada, CNIB and other accessibility advocates to ensure the new series of bank notes recognizes the specific needs of Canadians who are blind or partially sighted.
The next polymer bill will be introduced in March 2012 with the release of the $50 bill. All remaining bills ($20, $10, $5) will be released by the end of 2013.