Paper Money

Federal Reserve shipping old-style $100 notes

The Federal Reserve is mixing older design $100 notes with newer ones like this Series 2009 issue to ensure demand for paper money is met.

Coin World File

Despite unverified claims that COVID-19 made paper money more dangerous to handle, demand for it has increased, prompting an unusual move by the Federal Reserve System. FedCash Services, the arm of the agency charged with supplying coins and currency for both domestic and international demand, said on April 3 that it would be mixing older-design $100 notes with newer ones in orders from financial institutions.

The change in policy went into effect on April 6. A statement said that while the system’s banks had “sufficient currency to meet current demand, we are implementing a contingency measure to further increase the availability of $100 notes.” Institutions ordering notes will possibly receive notes from Series 1996 through 2006A in the same strap of a hundred notes as new generation bills from series 2009, 2009A, and later.

The announcement by FedCash Services explains, “This measure will allow the Federal Reserve to generate and pay out more fit $100 notes which work better for some institutions’ note handling systems than new notes. We want to reassure you that the Federal Reserve Banks have appropriate currency reserves on hand to meet the needs of financial institutions, and this is only a proactive measure to increase currency supply further in the event of any potential transportation delays that could occur as a result of the pandemic.”

The Fed added a reminder that all U.S. currency remains legal tender and that all designs are secure.

The new $100 notes were introduced to make counterfeiting more difficult; they were claimed to be easier to authenticate and harder to counterfeit than their predecessors.


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