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Taiwan prepares for Lunar New Year with annual banknote exchange service

Individuals can swap cash for fresh bills at selected financial institutions

Taiwan dollar bills. (CNA photo)

Taiwan dollar bills. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The annual banknote exchange service is set to commence next Thursday (Feb. 1) in anticipation of the Lunar New Year, a significant cultural celebration in Taiwan.

This service aims to facilitate the tradition of gifting red envelopes, which are often filled with fresh Taiwan dollar bills and exchanged among family and friends during this festive period.

Individuals can access the service at 456 branches of eight prominent financial institutions on Feb. 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7. These institutions include the Bank of Taiwan, Land Bank of Taiwan, Taiwan Cooperative Bank, First Commercial Bank, Hua Nan Bank, Chang Hwa Bank, Taiwan Business Bank, and Chunghwa Post-operated post offices nationwide.

People can swap their cash for a maximum of 100 new NT$100 banknotes. Additionally, limited supplies of new notes in other denominations will be made available.

To ensure easy access to the service locations, the Central Bank has provided a Google Map highlighting the branches and post offices participating in the exchange program.

Den Yen-da (鄧延達), director-general of the Central Bank’s Department of Issuing, noted that despite the growing popularity of electronic payment methods, Taiwan has witnessed an average annual increase of 8% to 10% in the circulation of cash notes over the past three years, per CNA.

Traditionally, locals exchange red envelopes during the Lunar New Year as a gesture of goodwill. However, in alignment with the global trend of green fintech, the Central Bank encourages the adoption of digital red envelopes as a more environmentally friendly alternative.