Why 1996 US$100 bill Refused?

Observe (T) and Reserve (B) of the Series 1996 US$100 bill

Many travelers to Indonesia recently reported that some foreign exchange counters did not accpet their CB-series US$100 bills issued in 1996. Mr. Nguyen Gia Dinh, General Director of the Viet Nam Export-Import Commercial Bank (Eximbank), explained the matter.

Is there any thing wrong with the travelers’ CB-series US$100 bills issued in 1996?

Not only in Indonesia and other regional countries, even some Vietnamese transaction and foreign exchange counters may refuse to buy in US$ bills issued in 1996; or at least they would purchase at a lower price than usual.

This can be explained that some counterfeit notes of extraordinary quality, particularly imitating the CB-series US$100 bills issued in 1996 and US$50 bills in 1990 and 1993, were circulating previously. Except experts working in financial sector, it is very difficult for ordinary people to differentiate between real and fake US$ bills. Thus, some counters would refuse to buy in these bills for safety reasons.

Mr. Nguyen Gia Dinh, General Director of Eximbank

However, it is absolutely possible for possessors of the CB-series US$100 bills to make exchange at international and local banks, where they will be offered a higher exchange rate than in the black market.

Some people traveling abroad complained that it was difficult to buy foreign currency, which resulted that they had to make exchange in the black market, where there was a high possibility of fake bills. Can banks solve this problem?

Previously, many banks were not capable of selling enough foreign currency to overseas travelers. Therefore, it became a habit for people to buy it in the black market where they could be easily cheating into taking counterfeit bank notes.

Moreover, some travelers went aboard bringing along their old US$ notes, which were stored for many years, not knowing that the US has continuously issued new series of notes and applied modern anti-counterfeiting technologies with a view to replace the issued old notes.

At present, banks are able to sell enough foreign currency to clients who want to go abroad for study, tourism, medical treatment or settlement.

To avoid clients having troubles, all banks decided to sell US$ notes of new series. Meanwhile, US$ notes of old series or those being refused by transaction counters are bought in, and then exported to foreign countries by the banks.

Source TT – Compiled by Trong Khuong

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