The new currency stream on Friday came into existence in Qatar with many ATMs dispensing the fifth series of currency notes, including the QR200 being introduced for the first time.
The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) put in circulation QR8bn worth of new bank notes on Friday alone, which will be scaled up to QR16bn by the end of this month, to reach up to QR20bn worth new notes by end of January 2021.
The new issue contains seven categories of banknotes, QR1, QR5, QR10, QR50, QR100, QR200 and QR500. The security and technical characteristics of each category varies according to their respective value, starting from 38 specifications, up to 64.
“The recalibration of the ATMs is being done on an urgent basis to ensure a smooth transition to new series,” said an official of a bank.
The ATMs installed at malls and the branches were found to dispense new denominations; even as some of the offsite ATMs continued to dispense the old notes.
A notice at one of the offsite ATMs said, “we are currently working on some technical enhancements to accept the fifth issue of Qatari riyal notes (newer version).”
Nevertheless, there was no hassle in depositing the old notes since the central bank has given a three-month window.
Earlier this week, the QCB had said it has been decided to withdraw banknotes from the fourth series within a period of 90 days from the date of the new offering of the fifth issue. The currency notes of the fourth issue will cease to become legal tender from March 19, 2021.
The public can change the old currencies with the commercial banks for three months from the issue of fifth series, after which they will have to approach QCB for changing old currencies within 10 years.
The front design of the currencies shares a common theme based on traditional geometric patterns, the national flag, Qatari flora and an ornate gate representing Qatari architecture.
The back design of the currencies incorporates themes reflecting Qatari tradition, Islamic history, culture, flora and fauna, and development of education, sport and the economy.
The QR1 note shows traditional dhow and the Oyster and Pearl Monument; QR5 shows traditional desert scene comprising fauna (Arab horses, camel, Oryxes), flora (Al Ghaf) and ‘hair tent (buyout hajar); QR50 has the QCB and Ministry of Finance buildings; QR100 shows Abu Qubaib mosque; QR200 shows Place of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim al-Thani, Qatar National Museum and Museum of Islamic Art; and QR500 shows Ras Laffan liquefied natural gas (LNG) refinery and LNG carrier.
In conjunction with the fifth issue, the central bank has put in a new system to track the banknotes based on a database linked to trading and with banks.
It is a special database for the QCB that would facilitate the process of tracking banknotes with their serial numbers, as well as helping to know their validity and spoilage cycle, and their continuity in the markets and making future statistics for printing new ones.