Dubai: Several bank ATMs and public utility machines in the emirate do not accept the new Dh500 note, inconveniencing residents.
The amended Dh500 banknote, reprinted with new security features, was put into circulation in November last year. The note replaced older features like the metallic ink around the UAE emblem on the front with multi-colour ink, and the silver thread on the back of the note with a broader ‘window' thread.
Though banks received the new notes through the central bank's regular procedures for cash withdrawal and deposit, residents claim that payment machines reject the new Dh500 note.
The current situation leaves them with no choice but to render smaller denominations whether they are paying their utility bills, settling their credit card outstanding, or depositing cash in their bank accounts.
Harvey Tecson, a UAE-based sales manager, said that he turns the Dh500 note over in the hope that the machine will ‘reconsider' the bill rejection. He told Gulf News, "It makes you wonder why, even as ATMs are dispensing Dh500 bills, cash payment machines are not set up to accept them."
Brett Pearson, managing director of Arabian Sales Network in Dubai, told Gulf News that he is frustrated because ATM machines don't accept the new note. He said, "In general, it could be due to the restrictive practices of branch networks."
Farheen Hussain, a training manager in Dubai who has experience in the banking sector, told Gulf News, "Though the Central Bank has placed the new note into circulation, individual banks are yet to update their systems. In fact, the timing of the new note and the rollout plan to update bank systems and public utility machines should have been carried out simultaneously."
Asma Merchant, an accountant in Dubai, told Gulf News that her bank has only recently started accepting the notes. "A few weeks ago, the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank [ADCB] ATM didn't accept the new banknote when I was trying to deposit money. It was frustrating. Further, I didn't want to go to a teller because there is an extra charge."
The new Dh500 note was introduced because the old bill was the target of counterfeiting. This resulted in several petrol stations and supermarkets verifying the note before accepting it.
A supermarket cashier in Dubai told Gulf News, "We have been instructed to handle all Dh500 notes with special care, paying attention to the watermark and the serial number because we receive several fakes."
Two petrol station attendants in Dubai, Virgilio and Maan, spoke to Gulf News. "We are taught to recognise fake Dh500 notes through the serial number and the emblem. However, recently we didn't catch a counterfeit old Dh500 note, and the management deducted the amount from our salaries."