The introduction of new £5 plastic bank notes across the UK is just a few months away. They’re supposed to be difficult to damage and tricky to fake. How do you feel about the new notes?
Winston Churchill famously said: “To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often” and there are a whole host of changes on the new £5 note that bears his face.
The Bank of England’s first £5 plastic banknote was unveiled last week and is supposedly cleaner, safer and stronger – but do we really need these improvements?
These bank notes will be able to survive a 90°C trip through the washing machine or the bite of a bulldog.
Each note is so much more resistant to dirt and moisture that it will typically last two and a half times longer than a paper note, saving the Bank of England £100m in printing costs over the decade. It also incorporates plenty of new security features, making it far more difficult to counterfeit.
These advantages will also be incorporated into the new £10 and £20 notes being introduced in the future, bringing an end to 320 years of paper money in the UK.
The cost of new money
However, there are suggestions that these new banknotes will cause more problems than they solve.
Business of all sizes will have to upgrade cash-handling hardware, such as vending machines and ATMs. It’s been estimated this will cost the British economy around £236m – almost two and a half times more than the printing savings over the first decade.
The Bank of England also concedes that the new notes can stick together, so shoppers need to be more wary of handing over two notes instead of one.
This sounds like a lot of faff for what is becoming an increasingly cashless society.
Prepare for plastic banknotes
The new £5 note enters circulation on September 13 this year. You can continue using the paper notes until May 2017, after which they will cease to become legal tender. At this point, you’ll need to exchange them at The Bank of England.
A plastic £10 note is expected next summer, with a new £20 note following in 2020.
What are your thoughts on plastic banknotes? Can you see yourself still using cash in 10 years’ time?
Are you a fan of the new £5 plastic banknotes?
Yes (49%, 392 Votes)
Not sure (30%, 240 Votes)
No (21%, 172 Votes)
Total Voters: 804