Plastic banknotes – all you need to know
The Bank of England announced in December 2013 that plastic banknotes would be replacing the traditional paper variety in the near future, with this change expected to help prevent fraud and increase the longevity of the average note.
In this post, Secure Trading looks at when exactly the plastic revolution will come into effect, and what it will mean for both the average individual and business owners.
When will they be introduced?
The first plastic banknote will be a £5 note featuring an image of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill. This is due to be introduced in 2016 and follows a fairly extensive consultation with the general public from the Bank of England. Of those surveyed, 87% of respondents were in favour and 6% directly opposed the move, with the remaining 7% stating that they had no opinion either way.
As long as everything runs smoothly with the introduction of the £5 note, a plastic £10 note featuring Jane Austen will go into circulation a year later, with no timeline as yet for the £20 or £50 notes.
Will anything change?
Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England commented on the move, stating: “Ensuring trust and confidence in money is at the heart of what central banks do. Polymer notes are the next step…to meet that objective. The quality of polymer notes is higher, they are more secure from counterfeiting, and they can be produced at lower cost.”
The Bank of England believes that these notes will last 2.5 times longer than the paper notes currently in circulation, with the added bonus of being able to survive an accidental spin in a washing machine. However, the notes will serve as an added incentive to check pockets carefully before ironing, as the notes can melt under extreme heat.
The other significant change is the size of the notes, which will be slightly smaller than the traditional paper notes. This means work will be conducted to reduce the size of ATMs across the country to ensure they are suitable for purpose.
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