Orbit bank note reader - subject of recall; this model has both Orbit Research and Bank of Canada logos on the front

Recalled bank note reader

A problem has been identified with the latest model of the bank note reader used to recognize bank note denominations by electronic signal.

The model in question is the small rectangular device that has both Orbit Research and Bank of Canada logos on the front. The short edge of a bank note is partially inserted into this reader and a button is pushed to trigger denomination. It is the model that has been distributed by CNIB Foundation since March 2014.

A recall is being issued to upgrade and improve this bank note reader’s performance with the polymer notes currently in circulation.

Canadians who are blind or partially sighted and who use this model of the reader will be contacted by telephone. They will be informed of the recall and asked to select one of two options:

  1. if they wish to upgrade their reader, a new one will be shipped to them, along with a postage paid envelope to return the
    old device to the Bank of Canada; or
  2. if they don’t use their reader, they will have the option to send it back. A postage paid return envelope will be provided.

The Bank, in consultation with CNIB Foundation, will recall the bank note readers in phases. The process is expected to be completed before the end of 2018.

Please note: A raised dot (also known as a bump-on) will be placed on the back of the bank note reader to identify it as an upgraded device. The dot will be placed at the end opposite the key ring, clear of the battery compartment and speaker.

Older bank note reader - not affected by recall; this model was distributed from 1998 to 2013.

Older model bank note reader

No action or adaptation is required for individuals who still use the older model of the bank note reader – this model was distributed from 1998 until 2013. The short edge of a bank note is fully inserted into this reader and it automatically triggers denomination.

This model will also cease to be compatible with the next generation of vertical bank notes.

Ending the Bank Note Reader Program

The Bank has decided to phase out the bank note reader program. We will continue to provide barrier free access to bank notes through other accessibility features: the tactile feature, large high contrast numerals and use of distinct colours for each denomination.

As technology continues to evolve, the Bank has determined that there are more modern devices that can be used to denominate notes.

For Canadians who are blind or partially sighted and who use a smartphone or tablet, there are several applications that can be used. The Bank has evaluated apps currently on the market, and both Seeing AI and NantMobile Money Reader quickly and reliably denominate Canadian bank notes.

There are several benefits to using applications: they are free and easy to download and tryout; they are easy to update as new bank notes enter circulation; and instead of a single function device like the bank note reader, smartphones and tablets have built-in accessibility features that can be used for various needs.

The bank note reader will continue to be available for a time, but no further upgrades are planned and the reader will not be compatible with the next generation of vertical bank notes.

Questions?

If you have questions or would like more information about the recall or the decision to phase out the bank note reader, please contact us or call 1.800.303.1282.