RBI revises norms on banknote authentication, sorting

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday issued guidelines directing banks to test their banknote sorting machines on a quarterly basis. The central bank revised the existing guidelines for authentication and sorting following introduction of the new series banknotes.

“In the backdrop of introduction of the new series banknotes, these parameters have been reviewed and a revised set of guidelines are enclosed for implementation,” the central bank said.

Currently, the RBI issues banknotes in denominations of Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 2000, according to information in its annual report for 2021-22. In value terms, the share of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 banknotes together accounted for 87.1% of banknotes in circulation. In volume terms, Rs 500 denomination constituted the highest share at 34.9% of the total banknotes in circulation as on March 31.

Banks will have to prepare a test deck of minimum 2,000 pieces of soiled notes, including mutilated one and fake Indian currency notes, as per the revised guidelines. The machine will be required to be tested by using notes of different denominations such as Rs 100 old series notes, Rs 100 new series notes, Rs 200 notes, Rs 500 notes and Rs 2,000 notes. In case of discrepancies during the sorting, suppliers will have to re-calibrate the machines, the central bank said.

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