Australia’s new $5 is swan-ky. No one’s arguing that, guys. It’s a beautiful piece of Australiana, despite literally everyone’s initial… well, let’s call it uncertainty.
Oh Twitter, you get me every time.
But it’s now apparent that the snazzy clear strip in the new note, which is supposed to stop counterfeiters, is maybe more trouble than anyone bargained for.
It’s causing grief for anyone who tries to use it in self-serve checkouts, vending machines or pokies, because the machine gets to the transparent bit, thinks that’s the end of the note and spits it back out, because “uh, ok human, that’s not what real money looks like.”
Or the note just crumples up inside the vending machine and ruins your snacking plans that way.
Woolies had to recalibrate over 100,000 self-serve machines to recognise the new note, which cost them a cool $20 million. K-Mart self-chekouts, TAB terminals and pokies apparently still haven’t gotten their act together, and will promptly spit any new $5 notes back out at you.
According to consumer-rights warriors Choice, blame for all these shenanigans lies with the vending machine companies who had plenty of time to update their machines.
Which is true. Mozo was writing about the new fiver back in April.
However. If you’ll allow me to indulge my inner saving nerd/conspiracy theorist for a moment, I think there’s a better explanation to why this is all happening than no one really thinking it through and businesses being lazy.
I think Glenn Stevens, who was heading up the RBA when the note was designed and who, as we all know, is fond of a giggle –
-has engineered this, to force us all to stop shovelling our savings into vending machines and pokies. Gosh darn it, he’ll make sure we save responsibly, even if it means sabotaging the country’s self checkouts.
So even when everyone gets on board and coughs up $20 mill to fix the issue, I’m proposing we act like they didn’t, and never spend another ugly $5 note in a vending machine again, just as ol’ Glenn would want.
Thinking about buying a snack on the train platform? About to have a sneaky whack at the pokies? Think again!
Before you know it, you’ll have a stack of luridly coloured $5 notes to deposit at the bank. Just don’t try to do it through an ATM.
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