Check and then Check Again


Over the festive period, hopefully most of you will find your stores much busier with lots more transactions over the tills. However, more cash payments means a higher chance of counterfeit notes being used so it is a great opportunity to remind staff to be vigilant.

The Bank of England has some great marketing material that you can use to train staff, but also to display around your premises as a deterrent to people who may knowingly try to use fake notes. You can order them by going to

Notes by their very design are made to be difficult to copy with the raised print, threads, watermarks, holograms and UV print. In addition to this the next £5 and £10 designs will be made on polymer notes increasing counterfeit resilience.

When checking notes, don’t just look at one security feature and try to vary it throughout the day. One of the first tests you can do is how the note feels in your hands. If you are unsure, try comparing the feel the paper to one you know is genuine.

Although we advise to check notes any time they are exchanged, it is prudent to be more vigilant when someone pays with a large volume of notes or is otherwise acting suspiciously.

The things that are present on all notes for you to check is the raised print, the metallic thread, and the watermark. There are then features specific to each denomination such as the holographic strip on the £20 note and the motion thread on the £50 note.

The Bank has developed a free interactive app that you can download to any Apple iOS or Android device which shows you the features to look out for and how to carry out proper checks. You can download it by searching for 'Bank of England Banknotes' directly from your devices store.

In addition to that, we would advise you invest in a UV lamp that checks the fluorescent features on the £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes. You can also pick up Detector Pens for about £5 which cause a chemical reaction between their ink and the paper, but be sure to keep these updated as old or dirty pens can be unreliable.

If you want to speak to us about increasing your defence against this risk, please call us in the Sales Office on 0161 832 2777 opt 2.