From 1 March 2018, most businesses and shops will only accept the new plastic £10 notes, which feature Jane Austen. The new polymer notes are more secure and harder for fraudsters to counterfeit. They also have raised bumps and dots in order to help blind and partially-sighted users to identify each banknote.
From 1 March 2018, it is still possible to exchange any old paper £10 notes for free at the Bank of England either in person or by post.
The £20 note will be the next to follow in the path of the old £5 and £10 notes, which will be issued in polymer version in 2020 and will feature J.M.W. Turner.
Bank of England guidance on exchanging old bank notes: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/exchanging-old-banknotes
Getting your business ready
The Bank of England has released guidance as follows:
- Most cash-handling machines will need a software update
- If machines can’t accept the new notes before they are issued, have a process in place so customers can still pay
- Train your staff
The Bank of England has released a document with advice on how to get your business ready for polymer bank notes which you can find here: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/polymer-banknotes