Johannesburg - South Africans should exchange their old series R200 notes at retail banks before the end of May to avoid the hassle of visiting Reserve Bank offices, the only places to offer the exchange from June.
The old series of notes is being phased out after a newer series was introduced in 2005.
The Reserve Bank has also found that high quality counterfeit notes, modelled on the older series, have entered circulation.
The central bank has provided some guidelines to help consumers and retailers identify the older series of R200 notes.
How to spot a fake
Newer notes are characterised by the prominent use of the SA coat of arms in the front top left corner, in the iridescent band on the back of the note and as a holographic image in the security thread of the note.
The security thread on the note is another safety check. Aside from the coat of arms, users should be able to see SARB, RAND and the denomination numeral when they hold the note up to light.
The upgraded note has a smaller watermark, which features a denomination numeral.
Note holders should place the note against a light source, and check that the denomination numeral is not blurred or obscured.
The newer R200 note has the denomination printed in colour changing ink on the front bottom right. The colour of the print changes from magenta to green when the note is tilted.
The note holder should also check for five raised diamond shapes on the front of the note, as well as the presence of different hexagons. These serve as an aid for the blind.
Finally, the words South African Reserve Bank should appear to the right of the leopard's ear.