The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has issued guidance regarding new banknotes featuring HM King Charles III.
As part of the transition to these new notes, the Bank of England has provided important updates for Bira members and other retailers, especially those using machines that accept, sort, or check banknotes.
New Note Designs
The new banknotes showcase a portrait of HM King Charles III on the front. It is crucial to note that apart from this change, there are no alterations to the existing designs. The new notes can be authenticated using the same security features as the existing HM Elizabeth II banknotes. Both designs will co-circulate, and there are no plans to withdraw HM Elizabeth II notes before the end of their usable life.
Machine Updates Deadline
For businesses using machines that interact with banknotes, it is imperative to plan for machine adaptation to accommodate the new note designs. Although the issue date for these notes has not been finalised, the Bank of England suggests completing machine updates by the end of March 2024. The programming of the new note designs is essential for machines to recognise and authenticate them.
Self-service checkouts need updates to accept and check the King Charles notes. Cassettes can also contain a mixture of Queen and King notes. The UV feature remains unchanged, allowing King Charles notes to be checked in the same way. King Charles notes are made to the same size and weight as Queen Elizabeth notes. Any necessary changes to training materials will be made in advance of King Charles notes entering circulation. Training materials will be available on the Bank of England’s website.
Manufacturers have commenced releasing updates for machines, starting from October 2023. It is recommended to check with individual manufacturers directly for specific timelines, as some machines may receive updates at different intervals. For any questions or clarifications, members are encouraged to contact the Bank of England: CashIndustry.Enquiries@bankofengland.co.uk.