With RBI's new app, the visually impaired can identify currency notes

With RBI's new app, the visually impaired can identify currency notes
Photo Credit: VCCircle
3 Jan, 2020

The RBI (Reserve Bank of India) released a mobile application for the identification of Indian currency notes for the visually impaired. This is in addition to existing features on the currency notes which help them differentiate between the denominations. 

The MANI (Mobile Aided Note Identifier) is available for Android devices as well as iOS 9+ and iOS 8 versions, said a statement from RBI dated January 1. The app has over 10,000 downloads on the Google Play Store.

Existing features such as intaglio printing and tactile mark, variable size of banknotes, large numerals and variable colours as well as monochromatic hues and patterns make it easier for the visually impaired to distinguish between the notes. 

The app is aimed at facilitating the day-to-day transactions for the visually impaired and was first proposed by the RBI in its June statement on developmental and regulatory policies. “... the Reserve Bank, in consultation with various entities representing the visually challenged, will explore the feasibility of developing a suitable device or mechanism for aiding them in the identification of Indian banknotes,” read the statement issued in June. 

According to a statement given by the RBI, the app cannot distinguish between genuine and counterfeit notes. However, the app works offline and can identify the various denominations of the Mahatma Gandhi Series and new series of banknotes, including those folded in half. The app also reads out the denomination in audio notification in Hindi and English as well as through vibration for those with vision and hearing impairment.

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