By the time a new Canadian
bank note reaches your wallet, it will have come through
a sophisticated and highly efficient distribution system. Canada’s Bank Note
Distribution System meets Canadians’ demand for bank
notes and ensures the quality of notes in circulation. The Bank of Canada’s
operations have come a long way since it opened
for business in 1935. Many distribution activities
were done by hand. And as the number of notes
in circulation has grown, the Bank’s systems
have evolved. So how does this Bank Note
Distribution System work today? Well, let’s paint a
picture and take a look. Across the country there are ten
regional distribution points. And at these points there
are a number of distribution centres – financial
institutions that participate in the distribution
system, hold Bank of Canada inventories,
evaluate note quality and manage the flow of notes. For example, during holiday
periods when demand for cash peaks, if one financial
institution has an immediate need for bank notes and
another in the region has a surplus, then a transfer
can be arranged through the distribution system. The flow of notes, whether
it’s notes from another institution, or notes supplied
by the Bank of Canada, is managed by a computerized
inventory-management system. This inventory system allows
the Bank to work closely with financial institutions
to meet demand. It manages the flow of notes
that can be recirculated, those that are
unacceptable for reuse, and any counterfeit notes being
withdrawn from circulation. At the heart of this system
are two major Bank of Canada operations centres in
Montréal and Toronto. They receive notes,
evaluate their condition, and destroy notes that are too
worn or damaged to be reused. They are replaced with
notes that are still fit to circulate, or brand new ones. The move to polymer notes
will have some very positive impacts on the
distribution system. A major benefit is that
with notes that last longer, they will need to be
replaced less often. Businesses will benefit, too,
as polymer notes are handled better by machines,
translating into fewer repairs and less downtime. “When we launch a new series
of notes our goal is to get them into circulation as
quickly as possible-so we can start to enjoy their benefits
and to remove the older series of notes from circulation. With over 1.5 billion bank
notes in circulation that presents a huge challenge
to the distribution system. So to meet this challenge and
to ease the transition to the new series, we are rolling out
the new notes in phases-one denomination at a time.” Canada’s new polymer bank
notes are state-of-the-art. And, as we have seen, they
journey from the printing press to your wallet through
a remarkably efficient and secure system. Canada’s new polymer notes. Secure. Durable. Innovative.