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Will the dollar bill soon be made out of plastic?

November 21, 2013

man in suit with counting dollar billsSoon, when you’re asked, “Will that be paper or plastic?” it could be referring to something different than shopping bags. For example, it could be referring to the money you spend on those groceries – and everything else, for that matter.

There are many countries in the world that are converting (or are at least considering a switch) to polymer-based (think: plastic) currency.

Why the switch? It’s more cost-effective, among other things. Though it does cost a little more initially to make, it will last much longer due to how it’s made. In addition, the addition of holograms and its very structural make-up, would make polymer currency very difficult to duplicate.

The concept of polymer money came from the Australians, who were astute enough to realize they could make much more of it by selling the idea to other countries, too. As of today, they also make the bills for approximately 20 other countries – and are rewarded handsomely for doing so.

Canada has been making polymer bills since 2011, and recently rolled $5 and $10 bills into circulation. This is the completion of their transition, as they no longer make $1 bills, opting instead to make $1 and $2 coins instead.

In addition, the Bank of England is considering replacing its five- and 10-pound paper (cotton) bills with polymer bills as soon as 2016.

So, if it’s less expensive in the long run to produce and more difficult to counterfeit, why the delay in production here in the United States? It appears that the government wants to sit back and wait for a little while to ensure that they aren’t the ones having to deal with an unforeseen problem that could throw a major wrench into the country’s economic system. Once they are convinced there won’t be any major glitches, they presumably will proceed with production.

Ari Page Ari Page is the CEO of Fund&Grow. He resides in Spring Hill, Florida with his wife and two children.

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