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What's New in Foreign Currency Exchange?

13th April 2017

New Developments in Foreign Exchange

While the basics of foreign currency exchange tend to stay the same day after day, year after year, every now and then something changes. And that something might affect you. It might affect your travel money and your holiday!

So every couple of months, we'll give you a snapshot of any changes in the world of foreign currency - from political impacts to new banknotes. And, if any of the changes have an impact on you and your travel money, our Travel Money FXperts will gladly help you with further information you may need! Our stores are open 7 days a week, click here to find your nearest store.

#1. New Australian Banknotes

Ok, so maybe not exactly foreign currency related (unless of course you are a tourist visiting our beautiful country, then welcome!) but changes to the Australian banknotes affect all of us, so we thought it would be worth mentioning!

You may have noticed the new $5 banknote floating about (if you haven't, do you live under a rock?). It was issued in September 2016, so it's had a few months to get out into Aussie shops and wallets. Well, on 17 February 2017, the new design for the $10 banknote was released by the RBA.

The new design celebrates two famous Australian writers, Dame Mary Gilmore and AB 'Banjo' Paterson. Their work has been recognised with several design elements, including images of a pen nib in two of the clear windows, and with excerpts of their poems appearing in microprint. Each banknote in the new series will feature a different species of the native Australian wattle and bird. The $10 note depicts a Bramble Wattle and the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.

The new note will be in circulation from September 2017, so watch this space for another update when this happens!


#2. 'Brexit’ Impacting the British Pound

Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has announced that she will trigger Article 50 on 29 March 2017. Huh? What does that mean?

Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon outlines the rules of exit from the EU, which is what 'BREXIT' is all about. Triggering Article 50 means that the two years of negotiations required for the UK to exit the EU will begin. And, it will also mark the beginning of uncertain times for the UK and the EU - no one has ever left the EU before, so who knows how this will work out?

Well, what we do know is that economic and political uncertainty is often reflected in the value of that country's currency, and this was no exception. When the PM made the announcement that she was going to trigger Article 50 soon (she hadn't even set a date at this stage), the British Pound (GBP) hit a 2-month low against the US dollar, the Euro and the Swiss Franc.

What does this mean for Australian dollar and its value against the GBP? If the GBP continues to fall in value, this could be good news for anyone needing to buy Pounds. As you can see from the below historical chart, the AUD:GBP exchange has been on the rise over the last few months*. But we don't yet know how the AUD to GBP exchange will continue to be affected, so watch this space as the negotiations take place!


#3. Indian Rupee Being Accepted at Travel Money Oz Again

In November 2016, the Reserve Bank of India placed some restrictions on the trade of the Indian Rupee (INR) as they demonetised the 500 and 1,000 INR bank notes. This has had quite an impact on many of our customers, but we are pleased to let you know that Travel Money Oz has recommenced trade in the Rupee and can now accept valid tender INR banknotes, with some restrictions.

So, if a customer brings us a valid 50, 100 or 2,000 INR note, we will be able to exchange them with no restrictions. We are unfortunately still unable to accept the notes which were demonetised, but we can accept all other valid INR notes.

Summary of what INR notes can be sold at Travel Money Oz:


#4. New 12-Sided £1 Coin

At the end of March 2017, the UK will have a new £1 in circulation. The Royal Mint is set to produce 1.5 billion of the new coins, at a rate of up to 2,000 each minute, and total of 3 million every day!

The new 12-sided coin will boast fancy new high-tech security features, including a hologram, and it is made of two metals. The design reflects England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with a rose, a leek, a thistle and shamrock included.

So, if you're visiting the UK soon and have a few of the current £1 coins lying around, here are a few things you should know:

  • The new coin will be accepted in shops alongside the current coin for a while
  • But, the current round pound will be phased out of us, so be sure to spend them while you can!
  • You will have until 15 October to spend your pound coins or bank them.  


#5. Other News in Coins...

So what if you have a few £1 coins lying around and you aren't going to the UK before October? Or perhaps you were lucky enough to go to Brazil to watch the Olympics last year, but now have a wallet full of coins you won't ever get to use again. What do you do with all of your foreign coins?

Unfortunately, the answer isn't "exchange them" as we can't accept foreign coins once you are back in Australia. But, we can help you to help others, through our Small Change, Big Difference Foreign Coin Collection Program that is now available in all of our stores! 

Through this Program, you can donate your foreign coins to support UNICEF's work saving and protection children around the world. We have coin collection boxes in all of our stores, so all you need to do is deposit your foreign coins in any of these boxes, and your coins will be converted into meaningful work to help disadvantaged children.

Oh - but if you are going to donate your £1 coins, please do so before October too - UNICEF will need to convert them while they are still legal tender!

So that's a wrap for this foreign currency snapshot. But, if you have anything you would like to know or have questions about other changes in the foreign currency world, just let us know!


*3 month historical exchange rate data available on, as of 21 March 2017.

This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.  While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you.  We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.