TASKED with among others, managing and redeeming currency of Lesotho in terms of provisions of the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) laws, the regulator has launched enhanced maloti banknotes with improved security features to keep ahead of counterfeiters.
Dec. 22, 2021
3 min read
CBL introduces new banknotes
Governor of the Central Bank of Lesotho, Dr Retšelisitsoe Matlanyane
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The new banknotes will begin circulating in the market on Thursday alongside the old banknotes that have been in circulation since 2010. Both series will be legal tender and should continue to be used in cash transactions until the public is informed otherwise.
“We will continue to use both the old and the new notes until the old notes have come out of circulation. Over the past 20 years, the bank has stepped up efforts on three fronts. Firstly, we adopted a clean banknotes policy to maintain the integrity of our banknotes. We acquired notes processing machines that automatically sort out clean notes for reissue in line with clean note policy.
“Secondly, the bank has continually reviewed the security features of the banknotes to keep ahead of counterfeiters and thirdly, the bank has widened features on the notes to assist the public to easily differentiate the genuine notes from counterfeits in addition to assisting members of the public who are visually impaired to easily identify legal tender in its various denominations,” CBL Governor, Dr Retšelisitsoe Matlanya said on Tuesday.
She added that this time, the change in currency design was driven by the need to comply with international best practices and to take advantage of innovations in the banknote industry since the introduction of the 2010 series.
The move, Dr Matlanyane said will support the integrity of the country’s banknotes by helping in the fight against counterfeiting whilst keeping the notes user friendly.
Among some of their features, the banknotes contain the SICPAPROTECT varnish, consisting of both anti-bacteria and anti-viral properties to make banknotes safer for handling.
The security threat that cuts across the portrait of the King is relocated to the left side on all denominations to improve the design of the banknotes. The modified design features of upgraded maloti banknote series incorporate tactile marks for the visually impaired or partially sighted who will be able to identify and differentiate the nominal value of each upgraded maloti banknote. The tactile marks in the form of raised printing of parallel lines can be readily felt by touching the note surface near the edge of the upgraded notes. This required the size of individual notes to be enlarged to accommodate the tactile marks.
Secondly, the bank removed the silver stripe, a plastic window on the surface of the existing M200 notes, which made these notes subject to rapid wear and tear that reduced the expected lifespan of the notes.
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For her part, the Second Deputy Governor of the CBL, ’Mathabo Makenete said the new introduction marks a significant milestone in the management of maloti notes in Lesotho.
“Countries that issue their own currency are faced with numerous tasks to safeguard the value of that currency so that the public that use it have confidence in it. It is for this reason therefore that the CBL as with other currency issuers takes pride in making our maloti notes as safe as possible in the design of its security features.
“As we mark the launch of the enhanced security features of our maloti notes, we bring to the fore the benefits to the users of the currency in knowing the currency features of our bank notes so that the public can avoid handling in all manner counterfeit currency and as such avoid financial loss to themselves and also the risk of being on the wrong side of the law,” Ms Makenete showed.
The security features are upgraded periodically and the time for that can vary depending on the low or high value of the notes to ensure that as the issuer, the CBL stays ahead of the counterfeiters who are getting more and more sophisticated in the technology they use to counterfeit the currency.