The New £20 Polymer: Why Your Team Needs To Check Every Note

19 February 2020

While the new £20 polymer note aims to reduce the number of counterfeit notes thanks to its enhanced security measures, many businesses may not be checking their notes so meticulously anymore. However, with both polymer and paper notes still in circulation, Volumatic warns that there are many ways as counterfeit note may slip into your business undetected unless you have the right note checkers in place.

Could There Be A Counterfeit Increase?

As with the introduction of any new note, the Bank of England then begins to withdraw the old note from circulation. Usually, the Bank of England will give several months’ notice before notes cease to be legal tender. However, when a note withdrawal happens, consumers try to use up any old notes. Similarly, there may be counterfeit notes in people’s pockets that people will try to use up, whether they are aware of the forgery or not.  

James Harris, Managing Director of Volumatic, explains;

“Historically, whenever a new note enters circulation, there is a sense of security among retailers as forgers typically haven’t created a credible counterfeit note yet. We also find that many businesses switch their attention to checking new notes and their new security features, that they forget that old note forgeries could still be in circulation.

As a result, it is essential to use forgery detectors that can check both old and new notes in accordance with the latest security guidelines and Bank of England Framework.”

Nine out of Ten Counterfeits are £20 Notes

The main issue for £20 notes is the amount of £20 forgeries in circulation. So much so that £20 notes accounted for 88% of the detected counterfeit notes in 2019. Furthermore, for every ten counterfeits that pass through the system, nine of these will be £20 notes.

As £20 notes are the most popular note, for both real and forgeries in circulation, it becomes harder for businesses to detect. Criminals using fake notes may slip them into a wad of real notes when paying for goods and services. Without a business checking every note, then it is easy to fall victim to counterfeit notes. This can cause a significant impact on your bottom line.

How To Protect Your Business

  1. Train your team to check EVERY note
  2. Invest in advanced and updateable forgery detection machines
  3. Be aware of all security features for both new and old notes

Want to find out more? Read our latest blog post that details the rise of £20 forgeries and explains why some fake notes are outsmarting traditional counterfeit detection techniques.

Want to find out more about the new £20 polymer? Read our five facts you need to know blog post.

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