A new five Pound note will soon to be in circulation.
The Bank of England has released updated training material, including a smartphone app, to help businesses prepare for the new polymer £5 note. The thin, plastic note, featuring Winston Churchill, is 15% smaller, safer and more durable.
If your business handles cash, it’s important that you and those working in your business understand how to recognise and authenticate the notes when they come into circulation on September 13th.
Cleaner £5 note
The New Fiver is printed on polymer. This thin, flexible plastic is resistant to dirt and moisture so they don’t become as tatty as paper notes and stay in a good condition for longer.
Polymer notes are also better for the environment. This is because they last longer and so the Bank of England have to print fewer notes, which means less energy is used in manufacturing and cash transportation. When a polymer note has reached the end of its life it will be recycled.
Safer £5 note
The New Fiver has a number of security features which make it even harder to counterfeit. These include the see-through window and the foil Elizabeth Tower which is gold on the front of the note and silver on the back.
Only a tiny proportion of notes are counterfeit – 0.0075% in 2015 – but the Bank of England want to stay one step ahead of the counterfeiters and these new security features help us do this.
Stronger £5 note
Each new polymer note is expected to last at least 2.5 times longer than the current paper notes. This is because polymer is stronger than paper so the notes can better withstand being repeatedly folded into wallets or scrunched up into pockets
What do businesses need to do?
Nothing. Once The New Fiver has entered circulation the Bank of England will gradually start withdrawing paper £5 notes as they are banked by retailers and businesses. If, after May 2017, you find you still have some paper £5 notes you will be able to exchange them at the Bank of England. But until then carry on spending paper £5 notes as usual.