Why do foreign notes have to be pristine in Indonesia?
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Jun 4, 2012 6:57 PM Last Post By: MadeIndra
Jun 1, 2012 6:25 PM
Why do foreign notes have to be pristine in Indonesia?Reading LP Books and watching this forum it seems if I carry foreign currency then it needs to be pristine- i.e. no tears, marks, new looking and god forbid in some cases, no fold in the notes.
I heard that sometimes that non-pristine foreign notes are traded but at a reduced rate of exchange.
When you are travelling it is hard to keep cash nice looking while it is located in your sweaty waist money belt.
Why are third world countries like Indonesia and most notably Burma insisting that foreign notes are pristine while there own currency can be traded in any condition.
Is there some logical explanation for this?
Jun 1, 2012 7:13 PM
1Indonesia is NOT a third world country! It is classified by the United Nations as a developing nation and it is a member of the G20. It’s an insult to Indonesians to call their country a third world country. Moreover, that designation has gone out of use since the end of the cold war.
In Indonesia the primary concern with the condition of foreign notes is with US $100 bills which have been frequently counterfeited and distributed in this region. Just Google super note if you want to learn more.
Folded bills are not a problem here, but torn bills, bills that are excessively worn, and bills with writing on them are problematical.
Jun 1, 2012 8:07 PM
Jun 1, 2012 8:18 PM
3Your notes must have been in good condition. Money changers and the few banks in Indonesia that will exchange foreign currency will not accept US $100 notes in poor condition.
Jun 1, 2012 8:23 PM
Jun 1, 2012 8:29 PM
5The note doesn't have to be in "crap" condition to be rejected, rather a minor rip, or pen writing on it will often be enough reason to be rejected.
Since it's not that difficult to secure new conditions notes in whatever currency a traveler to Indonesia is their home currency, it's always best (to avoid difficulty) to bring fresh notes here. They don't have to be right "off the press" but flaws and well worn notes can, and very often are, problematical.
Jun 1, 2012 8:47 PM
In my experience in Indonesia, there are higher standards for USD banknotes than other currencies (e.g. Euros).
Some comments from this post which may be helpful:
It’s pretty difficult to use dollars on a day to day basis when you can’t even keep them in your wallet for fear of creasing them and when the central bank might make half of them invalid next week by cancelling a certain serial number.
And it works! Unlike in other countries with volatile currencies, the Indonesian Rupiah remains the currency for the majority of purchases here, small or large.
Jun 1, 2012 9:51 PM
7As one who has just traded notes in Jakarta- only pristine 2006 $100 US bills will get full value- i had bills that were yellow shaded and rejected. No tears, wrinkles, folds, or writing. Recently got 9600 IDR per USD rate for such bills- wrinkled ones got 9550 IDR per USD- reason is that banks will not take bad bills and neither will people in Indonesia. Agree Indonesia is developing and not deserving of the third world title.
Do not believe these people who say that bill condition does not matter.
As to the reason- does not have to make sense-- it is what it is
btw US embassy will not take US bills as they say the same thing - banks will not accept bills in non pristine condition
haha but be careful banks will try to give you bills in non pristine conditions- billls that were rejected because of color were from an Indonesian bank
Jun 1, 2012 11:15 PM
Jun 1, 2012 11:26 PM
9The condition of bank notes definitely does matter and you will find that (many) money changers are stricter than banks. Some changers will change notes not accepted by others but at less attractive rates, I guess to cover for the potential risk they feel they are taking.
I wondered why this is the case also and the counterfeit thing was the only reason I could think of. The comments quoted in the post by therighteousdude are interesting and not outside the realm of possibility although, apart from during the krismon in the late 90's, the Rupiah isn't particularly volatile. The AU$, recognised as a fairly stable currency, went from US$0.48 a few years ago to US$1.07 a month ago and is now back to about US$0.96 for comparison.
Jun 2, 2012 12:02 AM
10Do not believe these people who say that bill condition does not matter.
Has anybody said that on this thread?
No worries, Indonesia is still far from the anal Burmese.
Jun 2, 2012 12:11 AM
11I have had a couple of discussions about this over bills that they wouldn't take and the best I can come up with is the people at the desks act as middlemen and are concerned about being able to pass them along up the chain. They are very concerned about their buyers rejecting bills so appearance becomes important to them....if that makes any sense in how I am relating it
Jun 2, 2012 1:24 AM
12it's not the end of the world if somebody rejects a $100 bill. It's happened to me a few times. You just go somewhere else, and the chances are they will accept it - unless you really messed up when you aquired the money and accepted one yourself that was ripped, torn, or had writing on it.
you have to look after traveller's checks even more than cash. The heat and humidity, over months, can cause the ink to fade and your original signature to disappear, making them unusable. When I'm away for months, I always keep traveller's checks wrapped in plastic. I don't consider this necessary with cash.
Jun 2, 2012 4:27 PM
13I remember in Burma, a few years ago, I had a really ugly looking $10 bill that I got in change from someone when I wasn't paying attention. Nobody would accept it. So in the end I left it as a tip in Le Planteur, a fancy restaurant we ate in (I think the bill was about $100). I was pretty pleased with my cunning....
Jun 2, 2012 4:55 PM
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