Cash machines in Canada being updated to support new $10 bill

Cash machines across Canada are being upgraded to deal with Canada’s distinctive new $10 bill, according to a recent Canadian Press report.

However, the new bill, which prominently features Nova Scotia’s civil rights lawyer Viola Desmond, doesn’t appear to work on outdated cash machines in Canada.

According to the report, All cash machines require a software update in order to function properly.

Spencer Baxter, owner of Value Vending Services in Nova Scotia, said his 125 devices simply won’t accept or read the new bills.

Mr. Baxter said he hasn’t had the opportunity to upgrade all the devices, but he believes it will cost around $10 each, with the exception of driving and labor time to transport the machines to different locations.

“Time and money”

“It’s time and money,” Baxter said from Halifax. “We have to upgrade every time they are changed.”

Since its launch in November last year, the Bank of Canada has issued 19.5m bank notes to financial organizations. Almost 16.9m bank notes of those notes are now in circulation in Canada. Around 158m $10 notes were also distributed at the end of the November, the central bank said.

“With around half a million cash handling machines of different types used throughout Canada, it is only natural that they will not accept this all from the day it starts to circulate,” said Rebecca Spence, a spokesperson for the Bank of Canada. “In that case, the bank’s advice is that if a banknote of $ 10 with Viola Desmond is not accepted by a cash-handling machine, try to use the previous regular circulation note instead.”

Metrolinx, the regional transit office for the Toronto area, said it knew that the new bills would cause an issue for its Presto and other machines used for purchasing tickets on buses, subways and commuter trains.

Most cash machines have been reprogrammed

Marie Aikins, senior media manager with the transit agency, said that a majority of the machines have already been reprogrammed. The upgrades, she mentioned, are merely the price of doing business in a country that becoming increasingly reliant on automation.

“The beautiful $10 account is vertical in its image, which has thrown vending machines,” she said. “We need to make sure they’re all updated. It’s not a big problem. It’s just an issue to reach them.”

The new bill, with its range of security features, appears to have caused less controversy than the introduction of polymer banknotes.

The previous cotton-paper banknotes, first issued in 2011, affected vending-machine operators across Canada.

Most vending machine operators said they were ill-prepared for the change and were forced to spend time and money on fixing machines that weren’t accepting or identifying the new currency.

New software needed

The Bank of Canada said that it had been working other financial institutions to attenuate the effect the new $10 bill could have on customers and the cash-handling industry. According to the Bank, the machines have the same readable features of the previous polymer notes and is printed using the same material.

The Bank of Canada said that it sent out test notes to manufacturers to help them with the change.

Chris Stegehuis, president of the Canadian Computerized Merchandising Affiliation, said that the switch from the old currency to the new currency has gone down more smoothly.

“There was new software needed for our billing computers, as expected with any municipal or exchange rate change,” Stegehuis said. “No problem with that.”