Information for Retailers on New Polymer Banknotes

Ahead of the new £5 polymer note entering circulation on 13 September 2016, the Bank of England has provided training materials to help retailers identify the new security features on the £5 polymer bank note. The new note will be smaller than the current £5 note, and printed on polymer, which is a thin flexible plastic material. Polymer notes last longer and stay cleaner.

The notes will also have advanced security features that make them more difficult to counterfeit. Retailers are being advised to check for the multiple security features within the new banknotes:

  • Check the see-through window
  • Check the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) is gold on the front and silver on the back
  • Check the foil patch changes from ‘Five’ to ‘Pounds’
  • Check the coronation crown appears 3D
  • Check the ultra-violet feature

All retailers and businesses that handle cash need to prepare. The new £5 note will be issued on 13 September and the paper £5 note will be withdrawn from circulation in May 2017. This will be followed by the introduction of the £10 polymer note on summer 2017 and the polymer £20 note by 2020. Machines that handle cash will need to be updated, and retailers should aim to do this before 13 September.

The first step for retailers is to make sure they know which cash handling machines are used by their business, and then reach out and talk to their suppliers. For most machines, a software update will be needed. Staff need to be trained to recognise the new notes, and training materials are available free of charge from the Bank of England. For example, there’s a short video that introduces the key features of the new notes in just 90 seconds, a smartphone app, and a range of posters and leaflets.

With just over a month to go until the new fiver is issued, now is the time to prepare. For more information, go to

This entry was posted by Leah on Wed, 27/07/2016 - 13:44