Canada Trying Plastic Money

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OTTAWA, Nov. 14 (UPI) — Plastic isn’t just for credit cards any longer, at least in Canada, which on Monday abandoned paper for its $100 bills.

The decision was made to go with a plastic polymer to give the C-notes a longer life and make it harder for counterfeiters to copy, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The new bills have two transparent windows incorporated into them, making them hard to forge but easy to verify. One of the windows has holographic images and the other is in the shape of a maple leaf.

The plastic money also has transparent text, raised ink, partially hidden numbers and a metallic portrait, the CBC said.

The $100 bill, which is expected to last 2 1/2 times as long as the paper version, features a portrait of former Canadian Prime Minister Robert Borden and also honors Canada’s medical innovations.

Canada is to roll out a plastic $50 bill in March, followed by $20, $10 and $5 bills by the end of 2013.

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said Canadians want to use cash for transactions but need currency that guards against fraud, The Globe and Mail reported.

“Reports of the death of cash are greatly exaggerated,” the Toronto newspaper quoted Carney as saying. “Our research shows that cash is used for more than half of all shopping transactions.”

“Canadians, as a consequence, need a currency that they can trust.”

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