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Phuket Business: B28bn worth of 20-baht notes to get exchanged



PHUKET: As part of the Bank of Thailand’s (BoT) policy to make its banknotes more modern and user friendly, 4 billion baht worth of new series-16 20-baht banknotes are being put into circulation.

Until now, the Kingdom’s lowest-value, yet most widely used banknotes have not been fraud-proof in synchronizing with electronic finance machines.

“The new design incorporates a range of advanced anti-counterfeit features to facilitate authentication by banknote sorting machines, vending machines and the general public, including visually impaired persons,” Tongurai Limpiti, BoT deputy governor, explained last week at a press conference to launch the new banknotes.

Like the new 50-baht bank notes issued last year, the new 20 baht banknotes are marked with braille indicating the value of the note (the braille symbol 2 for 20-baht and 5 for 50-baht).

The new banknotes should now be available for exchange at commercial banks in Phuket and nationwide.

Ms Tongurai said that there are currently about 1.4 billion 20-baht banknotes in circulation (28 billion baht), which represents 35% of four billion – the total number of all types of banknotes in circulation.

Ms Tongurai said that within one year, the BoT will look to replace all series 15 notes, which have been in circulation for as much as 10 years.

She insisted that their would not be a shortage in 20-baht banknotes, adding that the base cost for each new banknote was only 80 satang, about 33% less than the series 15
average cost of 1.2 baht per banknote.

The series 16 banknote is still green, and will be the same size as its predecessor. Among the key security features are a watermark depicting the portrait of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej alongside the number 20 clearly visible when viewed against the light.

“The portrait of King Rama IX in the Royal House of Chakri gown will be displayed on the front of the banknote. On the back will be the images of the royal statue of King Ramkhamhaeng.

“Another security feature is color-shift along the thread located on the back of the note. It is embedded inside the paper and partially emerges to the surface at regular intervals. Its color changes from green to magenta when viewed from different angles, Ms Tongurai explained.

Also, irregular shapes printed on both sides combine to form the numeral 20 when the note is held up to the light.

To help visually impaired people identify the new note, it features raised letters and numerals and two tactile marks in the shape of flowers, which represent the number 2 in braille.

The announcement of the new 20 baht banknote follows the issuing of a new 16 series 50-baht banknote last year.

The BoT will gradually replace all five types of series 15 banknotes – 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 notes, Ms Tongurai said.

She explained the reason for starting with 20 and 50 baht notes: “Since ATM machines don’t use these banknotes, there has been negative impacts for the financial system as well as [economic and disabled] minorities.

“The new series can be exchanged at commercial banks. The existing and previous series still remain legal tender, Ms Tongurai added.

— S Layne & C Plerin


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