Polymer notes will be launched by the Bank of England in September 2016 when the first £5 polymer notes will start passing through bank machines, followed by the £10 polymer note in 2017 and the new £20 polymer note in 2020.
The old bank notes will be withdrawn in the 12 months after the polymer version of that note is launched, which means that the old and new notes of each type will be in circulation together for 12 months.
Research by the Bank of England has shown that polymer notes are cleaner, more environmentally friendly and more secure as they have enhanced counterfeit resilience. Polymer notes are also more durable than paper banknotes and last two and a half times as long in circulation, so will prove cheaper in the long term than paper banknotes.
Safescan has worked closely with the Bank of England to develop firmware and software updates for existing products into which they have built in the ability to upgrade.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
• Who is responsible for cash handling in the business?
• What preparations have already been made for the introduction of polymer notes?
• Do our current machines accept and count polymer notes?
• Have we checked to see if our current equipment can be updated for polymer?
• If our machines can be updated, who is doing this and when?
• Have we established a time-line for becoming ‘polymer ready’?