The Central Bank of Barbados is reassuring Barbadians that the prefix “Z” on local banknotes is legitimate.
Responding to images and messages circulating on WhatsApp and other social media, the Central Bank’s Deputy Director, Currency, Octavia Gibson, confirmed that the Bank does indeed issue banknotes with “Z” serial numbers.
“From time to time, the Bank issues notes of all denominations that carry the prefix “Z” in the serial number. These notes are what we call replacement notes. If there is an issue during the production process and some notes cannot be used, the notes issued in their place are given serial numbers with the prefix “Z”. That is why there will be notes of all denominations with that prefix. Having replacement banknotes is standard practice around the world,” she stated.
Ms. Gibson explained that the practice of issuing banknotes with “Z” serial numbers is not new. “From at least as far back as the early 1990s, the Bank has issued replacement banknotes. However, because these notes are fairly uncommon, people are sometimes concerned when they receive them.
“The fact that a Barbadian banknote, whatever the denomination, has a serial number with a “Z” prefix does not mean that it is counterfeit… Check the note, as you should every note you receive, and once it has the appropriate security features, you should accept it,” she advised.
The Central Bank official also recommended members of the public who wanted to learn about the security features of Barbadian banknotes to download the Bank’s banknote app; visit its website or Facebook page; or visit the bank to get free flyers, posters, and booklets.
“You can even give us a call if you would like someone to walk you through the security features. We certainly encourage anyone who has a question or concern about Barbadian money to contact us so that it can be clarified and they can have peace of mind,” she said.