Businesses across the UK are getting ready for change. They just won’t be taking the old £1 coins.
With the old £1 coin scheduled to go out of circulation on March 28, 2017, all business from coin handling equipment manufacturers to individual companies in sectors with high cash transactions e.g. retail, transport and leisure industries, are gearing up for when they will only accept the new 12-sided £1 coins.
The Treasury in autumn last year announced it was putting the 30-year-old pound coin out of circulation, saying the old coin was vulnerable to sophisticated counterfeiters. They had said that approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation were a counterfeit.
Now with the deadline just over a month away, coin-accepting equipment found in payphones, gaming machines and photo booths could require upgrades, and business owners will also need to ensure staff vending machines are ready for the switch.
So, what do businesses need to do?
In preparation, businesses should:
- Check whether your equipment can handle the new £1 coin
- Contact equipment manufacturers to find out if you need to make any upgrade and adaptations, and by when
- Make the necessary changes to your coin handling equipment;
- Agree with your bank or cash in transit (CIT) provider how to return the current £1 coin and new £1 coin during the co-circulation period.
- Communicate the new features to staff and make sure that all employees are familiar with the new pound coin. Materials to support staff training are available to download for free at www.thenewpoundcoin.com. This includes leaflets and videos.
What’s the timeline?
- 31 October 2016 - Business training resources available
- 28 March 2017 - New 12-sided £1 Coin launched and co-circulation period begins.
- March 17 to October 17 – Co-circulation period where both current and new £1 coin can be used.
- 15 October 2017 - Current round £1 coin demonetised.
What does my business do during the co-circulation period?
- You can accept both coins from your customers
- Your equipment may be able to accept or dispense both £1 coins
- You will need to tell your customers which coins your equipment can accept
- You should agree with your bank or cash in transit (CIT) provider how to return the current £1 coin and new £1 coin
What does my business do during the post co-circulation period?
- All your coin handling equipment should be able to accept the new £1 coin
- You should neither accept nor distribute the round £1 coin
- The round £1 coin can continue to be deposited into a customer’s account at most high street banks and the Post Office
How should businesses return the current £1 coin and new £1 coin to their bank after the new coin is introduced?
According to The Royal Mint Limited, “You should return the current £1 coin and new £1 coin in separate packaging. Equipment used by banks and others to count coin uses the weight of the coin. The weight of the current £1 coin and new £1 coin is different, so any packages with a mixture of coins cannot be easily verified. This may delay the counting process and when accounts can be credited. You should check arrangements for returning coin with your bank or cash in transit (CIT) provider.”
By scrapping the old £1 pound coin, the Treasury hopes to combat counterfeiters who have around 45 million counterfeit £1 coins currently in circulation.