The Bank of England is introducing new polymer bank notes. The first is the £5 note to be issued in September 2016, followed by a new £10 note in late 2017 and a new £20 by 2020. A decision is yet to be made on whether a new polymer £50 note will be produced.
Polymer is a thin and flexible plastic material, and the notes will be around 15% smaller than the current paper notes. However, the existing format of the tiered sizing will be maintained.
The notes will retain the traditional look of the existing notes, with a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen on the front and historic characters on the back. The £5 note will feature Sir Winston Churchill (currently Elizabeth Fry), the £10 note will feature Jane Austen (currently Charles Darwin), and the £20 note is due to be announced shortly.
The move to polymer notes has been decided as they are cleaner, more secure and more durable than paper notes. They are more environmentally friendly as they last at least 2.5 times longer than paper notes.
There are over 30 countries currently using polymer notes (including Australia (since 1988), New Zealand, Mexico, Singapore, Canada, and Fiji).
All retailers and businesses that handle cash will need to prepare for the changeover of notes. Therefore at GEM Vending we have been looking into these changes for some time already to ensure that all of our note accepting machines are able to accept the new polymer notes from launch. We will be doing all we can to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for all of our vending customers.
For more information take a look on the Bank of England website: www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/polymer
Also look out for the new £1 coin in early 2017.
Further information can be found on The Royal Mint website: www.royalmint.com