The release of the new £1 coin is approaching, so start preparing your business now.
The big change
March 2017 will see the introduction of the brand new £1 coin. With a new intricate design making it ‘the most secure coin in the world’. The change is taking place in a bid to reduce the amount of counterfeits being produced from the simple design of the current £1 coin, according to thenewpoundcoin.com, who claim one in 30 pound coins in circulation are forged.
All in the design
The coin, made by The Royal Mint, has a distinctive 12-sided shape and bimetallic colouring of a gold and silver. With a holographic image that switches from ‘1’ to ‘£’ and a hidden high security feature it is different to any other coin in circulation, therefore protected from future counterfeiting. It is both lighter and thinner than our current £1, although it will be slightly larger. British heritage and craftsmanship is showcased perfectly through the design, which includes the English rose, the Welsh leek, the Scottish thistle and the Northern Irish shamrock rising together within the crown.
Using the pound
During the co-circulation period (six months from March 2017) both current and new coins will be valid to use and in circulation simultaneously. During this time you can accept both. However, at the end of the co-circulation period (September) only the 12-sided coin will be acceptable, from then on, as our current £1 coin will become void. From autumn, do not accept old coins from customers or distribute back to them, as it will not be legal tender.
Now’s the time to upgrade coin handling systems on your premises, whether that’s vending machines or parking ticket machines. The new shape is completely different to any other, so speak to your system manufacturer to see what replacements and adaptations are available. Train your staff on the new coin’s features and shape so that it is instantly recognisable when a customer makes a payment with it. Have clear signs that inform customers which coins your machines accept. Customers can pay with the current and the new coin from March until September, so make sure staff are aware of this to avoid complaints from customers if their old money isn’t being accepted, and make this clear on any signage.
Before March you should:
• Check whether you operate equipment that uses the £1 coin
• Contact your equipment supplier to find out if you need to make any adaptations or upgrades
• Make the necessary changes to your coin handling equipment
• Train your staff on the features of the new £1 coin
• Get materials to support staff training, which are available to download for free at thenewpoundcoin.com
The new £10
Don’t forget that the new polymer £10 note, which will show novelist Jane Austen, will be released into circulation in the summer, so make sure your business, staff and cash handling machines are prepared for the change.