This article was published on September 1, 2016

The new Australian $5 bills look like they’re from the future

Juan Buis
Story by

Juan Buis

Digital Culture Reporter

Juan Buis is TNW's Digital Culture Reporter, and you should click here. Juan Buis is TNW's Digital Culture Reporter, and you should click here.

I don’t carry physical money if I don’t have to. And luckily, thanks to bank cards and contactless forms of payment, I’m able to keep my wallet at home more and more.

However, it’s obvious that there’s still a need for cash — not every shop or person accepts digital transactions. Unfortunately this means that the foreseeable future still holds possibilities for counterfeiters constantly finding new ways to copy the bills.


To combat this problem, national bank are improving the banknotes they issue to making them harder to recreate. The Reserve Bank of Australia recently released their new $5 banknotes and they’re an impressive display of anti-counterfeiting technology.

If you can look away from the awfully creepy CGI hands, you’ll see the new plastic banknote that’s currently being distributed in the country. It has different security images, with moving objects like a bird and a 3D star that spins around.

Australia was the first country to introduce polymer money to combat fraud and switched to plastic-only in 1996, and other countries like Canada have followed suit since.

If you want to learn more about how the new design came to be, check out this video about the production process behind the notes — it’s pretty cool.

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