Are you prepared for Polymer Banknotes?


Polymer banknotes are due to be introduced into circulation in Britain in 2016 – but what are Polymer banknotes, how will they affect you and do you need to update your counterfeit note security?

The Bank of England have conducted extensive research following suit of other nations such as New Zealand, Australia and Vietnam and found that switching to polymer banknotes can bring a whole host of benefits to Britain. 

Polymer notes are created from a thin, plastic film, making them more environmentally friendly, durable, clean and secure. 

Due to the material of the notes, they are much more durable from the wear and tear compared to cotton paper, meaning they last significantly longer and therefore overtime become much cheaper than paper banknotes. 

The change in material doesn’t mean that the notes will be harder to manage. They will be up to 15% smaller than paper banknotes and will be just as thin and flexible to fit in wallets and purses with ease. 

Daily life won’t have much of an impact on polymer notes either. If you were to put a polymer note in the wash by accident or spill a drink over the note, it will have a minimal effect. The impermeable nature of the new notes means that notes can be wiped clean – paper banknotes will absorb the liquid making the note tatty and easier to tear. 

The clever design of the new polymer notes will remain traditional with Her Majesty the Queen on the front and historical figures on the back, but will include a ‘window’ within the design making the notes much harder to counterfeit. It also makes it much easier for cash handlers to check whether or not notes are counterfeited as a cleaner, more resistant banknote will show design flaws very easily. 

The introduction of polymer notes will begin in 2016 and initially only £5 and £10 denominations will be introduced. Paper banknotes will still be in use, but will be withdrawn from circulation one denomination at a time. 

How will this affect the process of cash handling?

Many retailers may be worried that the introduction of new banknotes will result in incompatibility with existing cash management systems. Associated have ensured that all of our note and coin counters are ready for the change and that our customers will not be affected.