Goodbye Torn Notes, Hello New Notes!

goodbye torn notes, hello new notes!Photo: Malay Mail

How often have you been rejected when you tried to use a torn note?

Some banks accept those notes for no charges, while others impose a fee. One of the places you can trade in the notes for free is Bank Negara Malaysia - they promise the transaction costs absolutely nothing!

“All exchanges of mutilated banknotes are free of charge,” the central bank told Malay Mail. They also said that customers can change their mutilated money at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur or at any of its regional branches in Penang, Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Terengganu or Kuching.

While consumers are free to exchange the notes at any commercial bank should they choose to do so, Bank Negara Malaysia said it was advisable for those with severely mutilated notes to make the exchange directly with them. 

There is one catch - BNM said that customers may not receive the same value of money that they traded in, depending on the size of the notes and the damage of the banknotes. 

“Customers receive full value when they exchange the banknotes which has more than two-thirds of the original size. However, customers only receive half the value if the banknotes are more than half but less than two-thirds of the original size. If less than half, there would be no value at all,” BNM said in a statement on their website.

goodbye torn notes, hello new notes!Photo: Irene's Ramblings

They also said customers could receive the full value if the note is only facing minor damage. On the downside, major defacement and markings on the portrait of SPB Yang di-Pertuan Agong would render the note valueless.

The bank said that the paper-based and polymer-based notes used today have a shelf life of 10-20 years. Polymer-based notes, in particular, may last up to 30 years. BNM told Malay Mail that some banknotes may be replaced (based on their assessment), while notes that are too damaged will be removed from circulation.

According to BNM’s website, there are certain criteria that need to be met if the notes are to be replaced. Among these criteria, the notes should be free from holes, not taped, and free from ink-water stains, among other things.

Will you be replacing your torn banknotes?

By: Celestine Foo