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Australia Launches Braille Banknotes

  • Published: 2016-09-01 (Revised/Updated 2016-11-05) : Author: Reserve Bank of Australia : Contact:
  • Synopsis: The new banknotes are the culmination of many years of research and trial and extensive consultation.

Main Document

"The new series also includes a 'tactile' feature to help the vision-impaired community distinguish between different banknote denominations."

Australia's new $5 banknote enters circulation today. Issuance is being supported by an information campaign to ensure that the Australian public is able to identify the new banknote and its security features.

The Governor, Glenn Stevens, said:

"The new $5 banknote has a range of security features that have not previously been used on an Australian banknote and that will help to keep our banknotes secure against counterfeiting into the future. New features include a world-first clear top-to-bottom window and a number of dynamic features that change as the banknote is tilted."

The new banknotes are the culmination of many years of research and trial and extensive consultation with subject-matter experts and the cash-handling industry, as well as qualitative research involving focus groups.

The $5 banknote is the first in a new series and other denominations will be upgraded over coming years. Each banknote in the series will incorporate the same security features. Additionally, they will each feature a different species of Australian wattle and a native bird within a number of distinctive elements. The new $5 banknote features the Prickly Moses wattle and the Eastern Spinebill.

New Australian 5 Dollar banknote features braille identifier
About This Image: New Australian 5 Dollar banknote features braille identifier

The new series also includes a 'tactile' feature to help the vision-impaired community distinguish between different banknote denominations. The tactile feature on the $5 banknote is one raised bump on each of the long edges of the banknote next to the top-to-bottom window.

Key design aspects of the existing series of banknotes, such as the colour, size and people portrayed on each denomination, have been maintained. This will help the public recognise the new banknotes as they come into circulation.

The existing $5 banknote will be progressively withdrawn from circulation but can continue to be used as usual. All previously issued banknotes remain legal tender. It will take some time for the new banknotes to be widely circulated.

Further information on the new banknote, including a video explaining the new features, can be found at

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