Sudbury, Ont., woman shocked coffee shop rejected her 36-year-old $5 bill

Sudbury, Ont., woman shocked coffee shop rejected her 36-year-old $5 bill

A Sudbury, Ont., woman was shocked when staff at a coffee shop refused to accept payment with an old $5 bill.

Irene Nizzero tried to buy a drink with a printed banknote in 1986, long before the current polymer banknotes were introduced in 2011.

Nizzero said the young man working the teller didn’t recognize the old bank note, so he called a colleague to inspect the bill.

“It was scary,” Nizzero said.

“And so yes, I ended up only paying with a 20. But I tried not to relax, this is actually real money.”

To confirm that the older $5 bill was still valid, Nizzero said he returned to the cafe the next day and showed it to a manager.

“I thought, ‘OK, maybe, you know, maybe I was wrong in trying to introduce this bill,'” Nizzero said.

He said the manager confirmed that they should accept the bill.

Traders may refuse bank notes, central bank says

In an email to CBC News, Bank of Canada spokeswoman Amélie Ferron-Craig said it is up to retailers to determine which payment methods they want to accept.

“So, yes, a merchant can refuse bank notes, or even certain denominations of bank notes, as a form of payment for goods or services,” Ferron-Craig said.

In the email, Ferron-Craig added that the 1986 bills had security measures, such as raised ink and green dots, to help prevent counterfeiting.

Ferron-Craig said all old bank notes retain their value and can be exchanged for new bills at any bank.

Meanwhile, Nizzero said, he doesn’t blame the younger workers for being cautious.

“I really had to rethink my position and I think that’s something that others might want to consider as well,” he said.

“Now we’re taking enough generations, some people wouldn’t necessarily have seen this bill before, and there might be some resistance. I think it’s also probably a reflection of how popular plastic and virtual payments are.”

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