The RBA has released the new $100 note with security features to protect against counterfeiting. Here’s what it looks like.

There’s a new $100 note. Image: Getty
  • The Reserve Bank of Australia has released a new $100 bank note into circulation.
  • It still features iconic Melbourne figures Sir John Monash and Dame Nellie Melba but now has new security features.
  • These include a clear window with a reversing number and flying bird.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

The Reserve Bank of Australia released a new $100 note into circulation on Thursday, which includes some new security features.

The new note’s colour, size and people featured remain the same to still make them easy to recognise. Like its predecessor, the note celebrates Melbourne figures Sir John Monash and Dame Nellie Melba. Monash was a prominent engineer who also served as a commander in WWI and played a key role in building the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. The shrine is even featured on the bank note.

Melba was a world renowned soprano who held performances in Australia, the US and Europe during the late 19th and early 20th century. She also taught at the Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music, which is now the Melba Opera Trust.

While $100 notes were first released in 1966, the polymer versions of all Australian bank notes came out by 1998.

Here are the previous $100 bank notes:

Image: RBA
Image: RBA

Incorporated into the new design are the Golden Wattle and the Australian Masked Owl.

They’re loaded new security features to protect against counterfeiting – similar to those used on previous bank notes the RBA introduced in smaller denominations.

These include a clear window with a reversing number and flying bird, a patch with a rolling colour effect in the top corner and a 3D fan with colourful lines. Plus, the colours of the owl wings change when you tilt the note.

For some extra security, there is microprint on the notes with excerpts of a letter written by Monash and notes from Melba’s autobiography “Melodies and Memories”.

There’s even a tactile feature with five raised bumps for the vision impaired community to identify the note.

The new $100 bank notes:

The new $100 note. Image: RBA

The new $100 note. Image: RBA

The $100 is part of a series of new banknotes the RBA has rolled out since 2016. It began with the new $5 note in 2016, the $10 note in 2017, the $50 note in 2018 and the $20 note in 2019.

“Considerable work has already been undertaken on this project, including the development and review of banknote designs and production trials of new security features,” the RBA said. “It is important that the new features are durable, effectively incorporated into the banknote designs and rigorously tested.”

The new note comes after the RBA found a “paradoxical” rise in the demand for cash during the pandemic, despite several Aussies opting to use cashless payment methods.

The Reserve Bank had to ramp up the amount of cash in circulation from $83 billion to $94 billion.

Swinburne University of Technology Adjunct Professor Steve Worthington told Business Insider Australia that going cashless wouldn’t be ideal in Australia because there are still groups of people who rely on it, such as the elderly and people who live in rural areas.