India trialling plastic banknotes to stop fakes

Indian flag sphereIndia’s reserve bank is trialling plastic 10 rupee notes in a bid to stop the rise of counterfeit cash in the country.

In 2009-10 the reserve bank found more than 400,000 counterfeit banknotes, and fake currency, particularly 500 and 1,000 rupee bills, are found in ATMs. India’s answer is to introduce polymer banknotes it believes are harder to fake.

Talking to ABC Radio Australia, Tapas Sen, Indian National Institute of Public Finance and Policy director, said: “The main objective is to stopping counterfeiting of currency. Bankers say that counterfeit money currently in circulation could be as much as 120,000 billion rupees.”

Making banknotes out of plastic is expensive and time consuming, two factors India hopes will deter counterfeiters. The longer lifespan of the bills, reportedly five years compared to one for paper notes, also makes it more financially viable for the Indian bank to add security features.

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