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Is your business polymer note ready?


Does your business handle cash? If so, you need to start planning now for the new polymer bank notes set to arrive this autumn.

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The old bank notes will be withdrawn in the 12 months after the polymer version of that note is launched, which means that the old and new notes of each type will be in circulation together for 12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.

To get ready for the changes, businesses that handle cash, whether through self-service check-outs, ATMs, ticket machines or any other machine that weighs, counts, sorts, accepts, dispenses or recycles banknotes, need to consider the following:

•   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'?

There are said to be a high number of machines that are unable to accommodate polymer notes, which means time is now of the essence in identifying whether your machines can be upgraded or will need to be replaced.

Machines that can handle the new polymer notes include the Safescan range of counterfeit detector, money counting scale and banknote counting machines.

For more details or to register interest in the latest information on polymer notes visit


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