Capitalising on the new £5 note

The launch of the Bank of England’s new polymer £5 note has created quite a stir. As well as plenty of column inches in the media, a charity campaign has gone viral encouraging people to donate their first fiver, while notes are reportedly changing hands for hundreds of pounds.

The roll-out of the new fiver also provides an opportunity for dealers. Paul Collins, general manager UK & Ireland at Safescan, the cash-handling product specialist, says: “Organisations of all sizes have a need to simplify money handling, so there is an ongoing demand for efficient and accurate cash handling products.”

As the new £5 notes are made of polymer rather than a specialist cotton/linen based paper, the impact on organisations is huge.

“The switch to polymer notes will have a huge impact on all of us, both as customers paying for the goods we buy, using parking meters, withdrawing cash from ATM’s and paying through self-serve check out terminals (SCOT),” says Paul.

“All existing machines will need to be updated or replaced, and this represents a huge opportunity for dealers to engage with their customers. They know they can get their paper, lever-arch files, pens and markers, furniture and all their usual office products from their favourite dealer, but they won’t necessarily think about buying money processing and handling products through them.

“If the dealer community engages now, while the launch of the £5 polymer note is in the news, they will develop a relationship and a reputation as a supplier of cash handling and money processing products, which will stand them in good stead for the upcoming currency changes. We’re far from a cashless society and, in fact, The Bank of England and The Royal Mint are producing more coins and more banknotes than ever before.”

Future changes

As Paul alludes to, the launch of the polymer fiver is just the start of a money revolution. The new £5 polymer banknote issued on 13th September is cleaner, more secure, and more durable than the paper £5 banknote. This is a trend that will continue as the Bank of England continue to roll-out polymer banknotes with a new £10 in June-July 2017 featuring Jane Austen and a new £20 note featuring J.M.W. Turner in 2020.

Polymer banknotes will provide enhanced counterfeit resilience and improve the quality of banknotes in circulation. In addition the Royal Mint will issue a new £1 12-sided coin in March 2017.

“We have never had this much change (no pun intended) to our currency since decimalisation in February 1971,” says Paul.

So how can dealers take advantage of the opportunity? “Safescan, which is the only business in our field operating in the dealer channel, opens new doors in many businesses as usually there is another buyer for our type of products, not always the office product buyer,” explains Paul. “Dealers need to take a new tack on approaching new opportunities and ask the pertinent question ‘who is responsible for the money processing side of your business?’. It takes two seconds to say, but this simple question could lead to a whole new area of business on a number of levels.”



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Posted by Austin Clark (95)

Written on 30th September 2016

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