< Back to news 28 March, 2017

The new pound coin - how will it affect your business?

Today (28 March 2017) sees the launch of the new pound coin. The current £1 coin, which has been in circulation since 1983 is being replaced for the first time in over thirty years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters. Read on to see how the change may affect your business.

Did you know?
Approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit* making it vital for The Royal Mint to introduce a new secure coin to reduce the cost of counterfeits to businesses and taxpayers. Beacon explore the impact on your business and how to prepare yourself for the changes.

What has changed?
The new £1 coin is 12-sided and therefore may not be compatible with some pre-existing machines. Beacon urge businesses to be mindful and check any systems with new coins to ensure customer service levels are not disrupted. Businesses across the UK who handle cash should have been informed by The Royal Mint of the need to prepare for the introduction.

Will old (pre 28 March 2017) coins still be valid?
Yes, the round £1 coin will still be valid and will remain a legal tender until 15 October 2017. From this date forward you will no longer be able to shop with this coin, however you will be able to return the currency to your bank in exchange for legal tenders. Users have until then to spend, donate or exchange their coins.

Co-circulation period
This is the period that we will sit in until 15 October 2017, until then...

- You can continue to accept both styles of £1 coin.
- When banking you should submit new and old style £1 coins separately to assist your cashier.
- Train your staff to ensure they know what equipment is affected by the change, so that they can inform customers efficiently.
- Inform your customers that the change is imminent so that they too can submit any old coins for switch over.

Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Baroness Neville-Rolfe said:
“This is a giant step forward to help stamp out counterfeit coins and save businesses and the taxpayer millions of pounds every year.

“Today marks the start of the six-month transition period, so I’d urge everyone to make sure they spend, return or donate their old round pounds before 15 October.

“We have been working hard with businesses over the last three years to help make this changeover as smooth as possible.”

Adam Lawrence, chief executive of Royal Mint, said:
“It’s an historic day for UK coinage, and one that The Royal Mint has been working towards, together with businesses and industry, for a number of years. From today, the public will start to encounter for themselves the most innovative and secure coin ever produced by The Royal Mint.

It’s been designed to be fit for the future, using security features that aim to safeguard our currency, and currencies around the world, for years to come. Staying ahead of sophisticated counterfeiters remains a constant challenge and this coin helps in that battle”.

David Smith, Head of Public Affairs and Research at the British Parking Association, said:
“The BPA has been working closely with The Royal Mint and HM Treasury to ensure that its members, who include local authorities, parking operators, and parking machine manufacturers, are ready to accept the new £1 coin wherever possible at launch. Most of the major parking machine manufacturers are positive they will be able to manage the upgrade in a timely manner, having begun upgrades over 12 months ago.  

“Evidence suggests a significant number of motorists prefer using cash and they should feel confident that they can pay for parking wherever they choose to park when the new £1 coin is launched.”

Staff training
To help you and your business, The Royal Mint has produced a series of training guides. To access these click here.

To view the full leaflet available for business, click here.

Beacon customers should contact their Beacon Account Manager or Beacon supply partners directly if they require any assistance. The Beacon team is available on 01904 695588.