The Mint is looking to change the £1 coin, due to the perceived threat of forged coins to the integrity of the UK currency. As of March 2013 there were around 1.5bn £1 coins in circulation, with a suggested 3% of these being forged coins (amounting to £47m).
A change to the £1 coin will affect many industries using unattended coin accepting devices, this includes vending machines. The Automatic Vending Association (AVA) has estimated that the cost to the UK vending industry if the £1 coin is changed could be at least £72.8m.
The £1 coin has been in use since 1983, which is much longer than the normal life cycle for legal tender of its value. The outdated technology used to make the coin, is now leaving it vulnerable to sophisticated counterfeiters. Designers of the new coin claim that it will be the hardest to copy in the world.
Its replacement will be roughly the same size with security features including bi-metallic construction, the 12-sided design and the use of iSIS – integrated Secure Identification System. This means an additive is built into coins which can be authenticated by high-speed scanners.
The technology will allow vending machines to spot fakes much more easily, but there will be a lot of time, effort and money involved with getting all machines to accept these new style coins. It is proposed that the new coins will come into circulation in 2017.
For further information: http://www.ava-vending.co.uk/