Retailers prepare for phasing out old currency
Here’s how retailers can handle the switch to new notes and coins without confusing customers.
Last year saw the successful introduction of the new £5 note, as well as redesigned £1 coins. The move is part of a strategy to improve the UK’s counterfeit resilience, with the twelve sided coin and polymer notes designed to be much harder to forge.
It’s the biggest upheaval of UK currency in decades, according to Cummins Allison who provide coin and currency processing solutions, with new polymer £10 and £20 notes to follow in 2017 and 2020. But the most complex part of the process is still to come – phasing out the old money.
Old pound coins will be withdrawn on 15th October 2017. It’s important for retailers to accept the correct currency while avoiding confusing customers, who may be left with large amounts of out-of-date currency if they aren’t given the right advice.
It will take more than natural “churn”, consumers spending or paying in their old cash, to remove currency from circulation.
Instead, consumers must be encouraged to exchange old currency for new, and businesses need to ensure that staff are trained to inform customers on the upcoming expiry dates.
Here’s everything your business, your staff and your customers need to know…
Advice for retailers
- Businesses which handle cash must be aware of the new changes, and put a plan in place
- You are under no obligation to accept the old £1 coin after 15th October 2017, and should not distribute it – all your old coins should have been banked
- If you have any machinery which handles and processes coins or notes, make sure you are equipped to handle both new and old styles while both are in circulation
- Update machines which take cash, such as vending machines or self-service tills, to recognise the new currency
- Let customers know which coins your equipment can take
- Train staff to recognise new currency and help customers understand the difference between new and old styles
- Ensure all banknotes you accept are checked, and make sure staff know what to do if they suspect a counterfeit note
- Make arrangements with your bank, the Post Office or cash in transit provider to return the current £1 coin and new £1 coin before it leaves circulation
Advice for consumers
- Just as the old £5 note has now been withdrawn, the old £1 coin will no longer be legal tender from 15th October 2017
- You should spend all your old coins by this date
- Be aware that not all machines will work with the new coins at present, but by the switchover date they should do
- If you have any left by the switchover date, you will still be able to take them to your bank to be swapped
Whether you own a single shop or a chain get in touch with Lockyers to discuss shop insurance for your business, we’re here to help.