Cash is Still Relevant in the Age of Digital Payments

Date: 5/5/2022
Author(s): Central Bank Of Barbados

Created 05 May, 2022
Tags Polymer Banknotes
Categories General Press Release Speech
Views: 1999

Good day, and welcome to the launch of our 2022 polymer banknote series.

I had hoped to be with you in person today, but overseas obligations prevent me from doing so. Nevertheless, I felt I could not let this occasion pass without saying a few words, because issuing and managing the supply of Barbados’ national currency is a core function of the Bank, one that is key to our objective of promoting financial stability.

We envisage that even in the age of digital payments cash will remain a part of the mix. Indeed, cash remains popular. In 2021, the value of currency in circulation was $960 million, the equivalent of almost 10 percent of GDP. Simply put, cash continues to be widely used. For some people it is their sole or at least their preferred way of paying, while for others, it is used in combination with other methods.

We anticipate that over time, technology will displace some of the cash in circulation. Indeed, promoting the increased use of alternative forms of payment is a crucial element of our focus as an institution. We have challenged our financial institutions to join us on that journey by ensuring the availability of cost-effective modalities for payments in the modern age.

In the interim, however, our commitment is to ensure that there is an adequate supply of currency in circulation, and that the banknotes and coins we issue can be used with confidence.

Indeed, that was our goal as we began this project more than two years ago. I am proud of the work our Currency team has done as they collaborated with our banknote manufacturers, De La Rue, to produce banknotes that are highly secure. I am pleased with the designs, which retain key elements of previous series for continuity while at the same time going in a new direction to create a series that is modern and attractive. And above all, I am confident that when the new notes go into circulation in December, they will be, as promised, harder to replicate but easy to authenticate.

One important difference that you will see is that the new note series will have a different feel because we have changed the materials from which our notes are made. In this regard, this is a trend that several countries have adopted, including some in our own region. As technologies change, let us embrace the change.

I encourage you to continue to pay attention to news about the new series and to visit our website and social media pages regularly over the next few months as we continue to share more about the new banknotes, including providing detailed information about their security features.

Enjoy the rest of today’s event as Gareth and Octavia outline the features of the new series. Stay safe.

I thank you.


Remarks by CBB Governor Cleviston Haynes at the Launch of Barbados' 2022 Polymer Banknote Series.pdf (493.32 KB)
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