Skip to:
  1. Main navigation
  2. Main content
  3. Footer
Economic Commentary

Currency: Time for Change?

Despite the increasing usage of credit and debit cards and the emergence of various electronic payment instruments, currency remains king—at least if that title is based on volume of transactions. Maintaining the quality of Federal Reserve notes in circulation represents the single largest expenditure by Reserve Banks: Roughly $700 million a year is spent to buy new notes from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and to process, store, and distribute notes.

The views authors express in Economic Commentary are theirs and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The series editor is Tasia Hane. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This paper and its data are subject to revision; please visit for updates.

Suggested Citation

Bauer, Paul. 1998. “Currency: Time for Change?” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary 10/1/1998.