The central bank, Bank of Botswana (BoB), will on February 1, 2018 start rolling out new P10 banknotes to replace the current set which reportedly get worn-out easily. BoB Governor Moses Pelaelo told the media that the replacement of the P10 note was informed by public feedback that the current one wear out easily which could be due to that as the lowest denomination the P10 banknote remains in circulation for a longer period and by the time it reaches BoB for depositing it would have already worn out. He said after consultation with the ministry, the bank took a decision to replace the current P10 banknote with polymer P10 banknote. Pelaelo said the P10 banknote was expected to remain in circulation for an average period of four months but it turned out the note remained in circulation for an average period of eight months as it is used as a change and this necessitated change in material. Nothing has changed in terms of features but only the material which expected to make the new banknote more durable. “Over the years, the Bank has used a number of mitigation strategies which, although successful to a certain extent, have not effectively resolved the durability problem of the current P10 banknote,” said Pelaelo.
The governor said the bank determined that the high number of soiled P10 banknotes in circulation has the potential to undermine public confidence in the quality of the national currency, and also, likely tarnish the country’s image. The polymer substrate which is used in the new P10 banknote is described as a thin, clear plastic film that can be printed on, similar to the paper substrate. This substrate is said to enable the adoption of more advanced, high-technology security enhancements and features, such as holograms and see-through windows that contain hard-to-forge images; hence curtailing the potential for currency counterfeiting. In addition to being more secure, the polymer substrate is more durable than the paper substrate; polymer typically extends the lifespan of a banknote by approximately 3 – 4 times that of a banknote made of paper substrate. “Therefore, the main benefit of the polymer substrate is the enhanced durability of the banknote. This translates into reduced production, storage and transportation costs because of fewer numbers of replacement orders,” Pelaelo said.