The Reserve Bank of Australia may be paying more to produce banknotes through its own printing arm compared with prices on offer in the international market, The Australian
Internal RBA documents, cited by newspaper, show the RBA paid more than 34 cents per note to Note Printing Australia in the 2012 financial year.
The cost price of Australia's currency would be about seven cents to 10 cents per note if production were put out to international tender, the newspaper reported and sourced from "a former RBA insider."
The Australian estimated unit costs for each banknote at 10 cents in each of Singapore and the US.
Inquiries by the newspaper on the RBA's management of its banknote production also yielded another insight (the subject of plenty of popular media coverage yesterday).
The Reserve Bank of Australia may replace the present series of polymer notes, which were introduced in the early 1990s.
The RBA released some details of its bank note planning (which dates from 2008) following inquiries by The Australian newspaper, which reported in detail yesterday on aspects of the RBA's work on its website yesterday.
One controversy included in The Australian's report is the implied favoured treatment extended to one Swiss-based designer by the management of RBA's subsidiary, Note Printing Australia.
The prototype designs endeavour to capture a more "youthful" feel but stick with the same cast of establishment figures for feature portraits used in the existing notes.
The Australian reported that "Reserve Bank research had shown that the majority of Australians could not name the faces on the national currency."
The RBA said in a statement yesterday that it would consult over the proposed new notes and that "it is anticipated that it will be several years before the first of the upgraded banknotes will be issued."
The material disclosed by the RBA yesterday did not engage with the other media talking point this week regarding banknotes and reported in The Sydney Morning Herald.
This debate relates to whether or not Australia's well-off aged are hoarding them (especially the $100 notes) as a means of dodging the asset test and claiming the old age pension and other benefits.
Peter Mair, a retired officer of the RBA with an interest in payments policy, contends that this is the case and that the $100 note should be scrapped altogether.