What are considered damaged Ringgit notes? Learn if your Ringgit notes can still be used for transactions and where you can replace damaged ones.
If you’re a fan of K-pop you might have heard the song “Money” by Lisa blasting on the radio. Among its lyrics are: “Dollar bills, dollar bills. Watch it falling for me, I love the way that feels”. It is actually a perfect representation of the feelings a person gets when drawing money from an ATM machine on payday -- the feel and aroma of fresh banknotes are exhilarating!
However, that only applies to fresh and new banknotes. Let’s face it, most of the money in our possession is old and worn-out banknotes. Some are in such poor condition that we even question if they will be accepted during business transactions. Perhaps it’s time that we find out!
Is your ringgit note fit for circulation?
It’s inevitable that ringgit notes and coins deteriorate over time during circulation. Therefore, a person should be able to identify if their money meets the quality criteria and standards to be kept in circulation.
According to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), a Malaysian banknote is considered fit for circulation if it meets all of the following criteria:
Genuine, not counterfeit
Free from holes, tears, tape, or missing banknote portion
It has uniform brightness and is
Free from excessive soiling
Free from ink wear, particularly on the portrait of the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong
Free from defacing
A Ringgit note is considered defaced when it contains words, signs, symbols, drawings, and caricatures that are either written or inscribed on its surface deliberately. The total value shall be awarded to any piece of banknote which only has minor defacing. Furthermore, no value shall be awarded to any piece of banknote which is defaced in any significant way (that is, markings done on the portrait of the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, writings depicting political slogan and religious element or using the banknote as an invitation card/writing pad).
The value shall be given to any torn, burnt, and termite-infested banknotes subject to the
The full value shall be awarded to any piece of banknote which is more than two-thirds (2/3) in size of the original banknote
The half value shall be awarded to any piece of banknote which is more than half (1/2) but less than two-thirds (2/3) in size of the original banknote
No value shall be awarded to any piece of banknote which is less than half (1/2) in size of the original banknote.
Additionally, a Malaysian coin is considered for circulation if it meets all of the following criteria:
Genuine, not counterfeit
Free from soiling or discoloration (often by the effect of chemical reaction, burning, dirt, or age)
Free from defects (eg., holes, dents, cuts, or missing coin portion)
Is not a freak coin
BNM also has an illustrated guide on examples of unfit Ringgit notes, which you can view here.
Can I replace my damaged notes?
So, you cannot use any damaged banknotes as they are unfit for circulation. But can you replace them with new ones? Yes, you can!
Depending on the condition of the damaged banknote, you can replace them at any commercial bank for a certain fee or replace them for free at any BNM branch.
Going for cashless payments may be the best solution!
Yes, one of the best ways to avoid the problem of damaged banknotes is to opt for cashless payments such as credit cards, e-wallets, online transactions, and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL).
Our own country, Malaysia, has also made efforts to move into a cashless society as seen through the Central Bank’s (BNM) Financial Sector Blueprint 2011-2020. Electronic payment (e-payment) is one of the nine focus areas under the blueprint.
Among the advantages of creating a cashless society includes:
Less robbery, theft, and crime