The Bank of England advises that all businesses handling cash will need to plan and prepare for the introduction of new polymer £5 notes, set to begin replacing the current paper ones this September.
The move to polymer will start with £5 notes, with the new £10 notes being issued in 2017 and the £20 notes by 2020.
The full details of the design and security features will be revealed on 2 June 2016 and a range of training materials for retailers and businesses will be released.
The decision to move to the new banknotes was informed by engagement with a wide range of stakeholders in the cash industry, and the Bank of England is continuing the dialogue with businesses to support a smooth transition.
The Bank of England describes the new polymer banknotes as “cleaner, more secure, and more durable than paper banknotes,” as well as providing “enhanced counterfeit resilience.”
Businesses that handle cash will need to plan and prepare for the introduction of the new, smaller polymer banknotes, and the Bank of England will be “committed to working collaboratively with businesses to support a smooth transition to the new £5 in September 2016, the £10 note in 2017 and the £20 note by 2020.”
Staff who handle cash will need to be able to recognise and authenticate the new notes, and some handling practices may need to be adapted. A range of hard copy and electronic materials to support staff training will be available around three months before the issue date.
The Bank of England hosted four industry-wide forums in February and October 2014, and May and November 2015, which were attended by over 100 organisations in the cash industry including financial institutions, ATM operators, cash-in-transit companies, banknote equipment manufacturers, retailers, and trade associations. The next forum is planned for May 2016.
The Bank will be communicating extensively about the transition to polymer notes as the launch date approaches. A timeline for the transition to polymer can be downloaded from the Key Resources on the website, here.
For more information, visit the Bank of England website.