Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has said it will soon introduce new Malawi kwacha currency series for both the notes and coins and that for the first time Malawi will have a new K1000 note denomination.
RBM Governor Dr. Perks Ligoya explained that the review for the new currency series will comprise six note denominations of K20, K50, K100, K200, K500 and a new K1000 note and coin denominations of K1, K5 and K10.
Dr. Ligoya then explained why the central bank has decided to introduce a new currency series.
“The main objectives of introducing a new currency are three fold,” he said.
The first reason, Ligoya said is to minimise production costs and increase operation efficiency – by reducing banknote and coin sizes.
He said this will be achieved as the change will modernise banknote designs in line with changing international trends by adopting features that enhance banknote durability by looking at issues of varnishing, edge stones and cornerstones.
He further said this enhancement will also be achieved by adopting user friendly features for the visually impaired by coming up with larger fonts now.
Dr. Ligoya also explained that the changes will improve security against modern counterfeit threats since they will now adopt modern and effecting security features.
“The currency review has resulted in the sizes of the K20, K50 and K100 notes being reduced by over 20 percent on average whereas the K200 and K500 notes size have been trimmed by more than 30 percent on average,” explained Dr. Ligoya.
He added that the coin weights on the other hand, have been reduced by over 60 percent on average and the diameters have also been made smaller.
“This will make the currency much easier to handle and store,” he said.
As an initiative to roll out public awareness campaign, Dr. Ligoya said the bank will at the appropriate time embark on an extensive country wide awareness campaign to educate the public on the appearance of the new currency and more importantly the anti-counterfeit security features on the new notes.
“The public should, therefore, take keen interest to be familiar with the new currency to avoid being cheated with counterfeits,” he said.
The bank says people should also realise that on the transitional period both the new and old currency will run side by side as legal tender and the exchange arrangements.
“In the meantime, members of the public are encouraged to bank their excess cash for easy exchange of the old notes with the new ones,” Dr. Ligoya said.