[vendtalk] Timothy Geithner Says No Set Timetable For Currency Redesign; That's Good News For Vending

Vandervoort's vandervoorts at sbcglobal.net
Sat Jun 23 22:23:02 UTC 2012

Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 7, July 2012, Posted On: 6/16/2012 

Geithner Says No Set Timetable For Currency Redesign; That's Good News For

Nick Montano  Nick at vendingtimes.net  

WASHINGTON -- In a supplemental report on progress made to provide
"meaningful access" to American currency for blind and sight-impaired
persons, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said his department has
not yet set a timetable for the next currency redesign.

"News that a date for a currency redesign has not been designated is very
good for the vending industry," said Dan Mathews, executive vice-president
and chief operating officer of the National Automatic Merchandising
Association, which reported on the Treasury Department's progress on June

Geithner has approved several recommendations by the Bureau of Engraving and
Printing, the Treasury agency that makes paper money, to improve access to
U.S. currency for the blind or those whose sight is weakening with illness
or age. They include adding a raised tactile feature, large, high-contrast
numerals and different colors. BEP also suggested a supplementary program
that would distribute currency readers to U.S. citizens and legal residents
who are blind or sight impaired.

In its comments to the Treasury Department in 2010, NAMA argued that a
tactile feature on currency, such as Braille markings, is a good remedy, but
the cost of such a feature could be substantial. The vending association
encouraged BEP to minimize potential costs and provide sufficient time for
the vending industry to accommodate any physical currency changes. 

NAMA's Washington team has been working on the currency redesign case since
September 2005, when it submitted an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court
for the District of Columbia. It also filed a brief in a U.S. court of
appeals in August 2007.

"Some of the original recommendations -- in particular changing the physical
sizes of notes -- could have had a major impact and significant, if not
devastating, cost to our industry," Mathews explained.

The NAMA executive said an embossed tactile feature, continued use of large
high-contrast numbers and currency reader distribution program are
requirements with which the vending industry can live. Mathews added that
the proposed redesign does not apply to the $1 note.

In May 2008, a federal appeals court ruled that the United States
discriminates against the blind and those with limited vision because all
its paper money is the same size regardless of a bill's value. The 2-to-1
decision by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia Circuit said that the Treasury Department failed to prove that
it would be too difficult to make banknotes of different sizes or add
attributes that could be read by touch to distinguish monetary value. The
American Council of the Blind brought the lawsuit in 2002.

(Various other groups representing the blind and visually impaired did not
support the lawsuit or advocate a change in currency design.)

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