A new Australian $5 banknote with a tactile feature to assist the blind and vision-impaired has entered circulation.

After the design was unveiled earlier this year, the banknote was finally launched on 1 September, with experts hailing its introduction as a “significant win for the blindness and low-vision community”.

For the first time, the banknote includes a tactile feature – a non-Braille raised bump on each of its long edges. The feature is designed to help people with impaired vision identify the value of the banknote. It was said other denominations would be upgraded over the coming years to include different numbers of bumps.

Reserve Bank of Australia head of note issue department Mr Michael Andersen stated, “The Bank has consulted extensively with the vision-impaired community to improve the accessibility of Australia’s banknotes. We are pleased that this work has culminated with the introduction of a tactile feature on the new banknotes, making the Australia’s banknotes among the most accessible in the world.”

The existing $5 banknote will be progressively withdrawn from circulation but can continue to be used as usual.