The polymer £5 and £10 notes have arrived
The Bank of England released its first polymer banknote in September 2016, starting with the £5 note. The £10 note was released in September 2017. The switch over to polymer is a major change in UK currency and businesses need to be prepared.
Beyond getting used to the look and feel of the new notes, businesses across the UK will need banknote processing equipment with the ability to efficiently and effectively separate and process paper and polymer notes.
As part of the suppliers committee for the Bank of England, and leading innovator and provider of coin and currency handling solutions, we made sure our equipment was ready to accept the new polymer banknote on the September 2016 release.
Multiple options for polymer banknote processing
The JetScan iFX® i100, i200 and i400 currency scanner machines can count, denominate and image up to 1,200 notes per minute – 20 percent faster than any other equipment available today. In addition, the JetScan iFX models have advanced counterfeit detection sensors, including infra-red technology. Available in 1, 2 and 3-17 pocket models, these compact, easy-to-use machines are quickly gaining traction in cash-intensive organisations. For financial institutions that are required to separate paper from polymer, our solutions have the ability to separate the two different substrates with ease.
The makeup of the new banknotes is plastic. Plastic creates a significant amount of static as notes go through the counting process in these type of machines, and the drier the climate, the more the static issue becomes. Under these conditions, the polymer notes have a greater tendency to stick together – potentially creating count errors. In addition, as the notes go through the machines to the stacker, the static creates a situation where the polymer notes may literally "float" in the air and therefore, not settle properly.
To combat this issue, we have installed in our currency counting equipment anti-static stacker wheels, brushes and shock resistant components to help dissipate the static that may be generated by the polymer notes. We also suggest to customers that a count room be kept at an average of 50-70 percent relative humidity. The combination of better humidity control and the insertion of the anti-static technology have resolved these static issues.
As the UK currency changes, we are able to adapt our currency processing solutions to grow along with it. It's imperative that your processing equipment is future- ready; that doesn't necessarily mean you have to invest in a new piece of equipment. Customers can turn to us and our breadth of currency processing solutions that are upgradeable, maintain high speeds and offer the most advanced counterfeiting detection features.
Customers that have existing equipment will be able to upgrade their solution in order to begin accepting polymer notes and extend the life of existing equipment. Consider adding a Preventative Maintenance Agreement (PMA) which reduces operating costs by extending the productive life and increasing the reliability of your products.