The new $5 notes will begin appearing in September, and most cash-handling equipment will need to be upgraded.
The RBA unveiled the new notes in April, which incorporate advanced security features to prevent counterfeiting while retaining key design aspects such as colour and size.
Once they begin to enter circulation in September existing $5 notes will remain legal tender, but electronic scanning equipment will need to be modified to recognise the new currency.
The change will not affect ATMs as they do not dispense $5 notes, but cash handling equipment and the bill acceptors (bill validators / UBAs) on gaming machines will either require a software upgrade or need to be replaced.
“RBA has been working closely with a range of companies to ensure that when the new banknotes are issued, key equipment that accepts or dispenses banknotes will work effectively with the new banknotes,” Banktech’s Roxanne Costello told PubTIC.
“This will include any self-service equipment, such as cash redemption terminals, and importantly bank note acceptors that accept both money and tickets into a gaming machine.
“From our clients’ perspective it will be business as usual, as the transition to the new banknotes will be seamless.”
Banktech recently acquired industry stalwart Global Gaming, in a synergy of the two non-competing companies.
Gaming machine manufacturers are similarly mobilising to prepare for the new notes and have begun education campaigns to communicate the necessary changes to venue customers.
Scientific Games (SG), proprietor of Bally, WMS, SHFL and Stargames-branded cabinets, reports most of its machines will require only a firmware (software programmed into electronic devices) upgrade to accept the new notes.
This includes Dualos, Equinox, Wave, and WMS Bluebird cabinets and many e-Star cabinets, while earlier e-Star machines and Stargames PC3 cabinets contain bill validators no longer supported by their original manufacturer and not able to be upgraded.
SG suggest customers should contact their sales reps if they have any concerns, and to prepare for the rollout.
“[We] recommend that hoteliers contact their service providers to discuss arrangements for performing these upgrades.”
IGT recognise that its dynasty of machines pose similar challenges, telling PubTIC “all recent machines can be upgraded quite simply with a software upgrade” available from IGT (in NSW/ACT).
These machines include CrystalDual-i, IGT bluechip Neo and IGT bluechip Neo-N+.
Most older IGT machines feature either a blue or silver/black-topped bill acceptor (pictured). The blue-topped units can also be upgraded via firmware, while the older units will need to be replaced using an IGT conversion kit. Customers possessing even older machines (such as IGT GU4) will need to talk with their IGT sales representative.
IGT operates its own network of service technicians in NSW and the ACT, and engages contracted technicians in other States.
Aristocrat reports to PubTIC that its machines are in the same disposition, with not all bank note acceptors (BNAs) possessing technology compatible with the improved security features in the new $5 notes.
“BNAs in some older cabinets will need to be replaced, whereas BNAs in more recent cabinets will only require a firmware upgrade.”
The RBA reports it expects to similarly introduce a new $10 in FY17, which will likely require only the firmware upgrades due to the changes brought about by the $5 notes.