Japan Misprints Some New Currency; Vending Machines Out Of Luck

from the whoops dept

With high quality printing methods getting increasingly less expensive, it keeps getting easier for scammers to print counterfeit money. As a result, treasuries around the world have been more proactive in regularly changing their currencies and continually adding various anti-counterfeiting systems to the bills. Since cash is going to stay around for a while it’s worth thinking about the impact rapidly changing currency can have. For example, vending machines that accept currency need to be able to keep up with the changes — which could be quite a challenge. However, in Japan, it’s become a bit more challenging — mainly because the National Printing Bureau screwed up when printing up some of its new currency. The Raw Feed points out that some sort of printing glitch with the new bills means that nearly 40,000 bills don’t work in vending machines throughout Japan. The bills still look the same, and the Bank of Japan claims they’re still valid currency… just not to any vending machine. The National Printing Bureau, however, admits that while they may be valid, technically, the bills are “defective,” but no recall will be put in place. Of course, no one indicates if there’s any way to update the vending machines — but with only 40,000 defective bills out there, perhaps it’s just not worth it. Either way, you’d have to think that vending machine owners are not happy about this development.

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Comments on “Japan Misprints Some New Currency; Vending Machines Out Of Luck”

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Kyle says:

AHH!! I live in Japan!! As far as “vendors” goes, there are tons of machines. I’d say about 4 for every 30 feet of city streets in Tokyo.

Unlike the US, Japan uses vending machines for everything. Many restraunts have replaced cashiers with ticket dispensing machines. The train/subway tickets and prepaid passes are sold via machine. There are even vending machines for beer, tobacco, batteries, underwear and ties to name a few of the unusual ones.

The idea of testing bills using the machines is good but some machines only give change in coins so I may end up carrying a lot of change. (roughly $10 is the smallest paper bill)

? says:

Only 40,000

If you live in Japan, you would be lucky to find one of the bills, and I’ll bet the problem completely dissappears within the next six months as bills in circulation don’t circulate for very long.

The odd bills will either be collected by the BOJ and disposed of, or collectors will figure out how to identify the bills and put them in nifty looking picture frames.

Peter Rambo (user link) says:

I don't imagine it will be a big deal.

As Kyle says, the 1000 yen bill is the smallest bill they use. When I was there I almost always used change in the vending machines. The Japanese tend to carry around a lot of cash (perhaps because the vending machines don’t take credit/debit cards) so unless they’re down to their last bill after the post office closes, they should be fine.

Kyle says:

Actually, Japan is moving ahead quite well. Cash is still the dominant means of payment and many shops still do not accept credit cards but Japan seems to be skipping the credit card and moving directly to wireless payments. Many phones here are able to transmit payments for small items such as tobacco, drinks etc. I’m not quite sure how this works (RFID?) but it is definetly spreading.

Interestingly, those shops that do take credit cards do not require signatures.

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