Retailers are being urged to prepare for the introduction of the King Charles III banknotes which are due to enter circulation by mid-2024.
The King’s portrait will appear on all four of our polymer banknotes (£5, £10, £20 and £50) and the new banknotes can be checked in the same way as the polymer notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II. There are no plans to withdraw the banknotes featuring Queen Elizabeth II, meaning the two designs will co-circulate.
The new designs need to be programmed into cash-handling machines, such as self-checkouts, so that the machines will recognise and authenticate them. Retailers will need to contact the manufacturer of any cash handling machines used in store to arrange this.
It is expected that the notes will enter circulation in mid-2024 so it is recommended that any updates to cash-handling machines are completed by the end of March 2024.
In the new notes, the reverse side of current polymer Bank of England banknotes, which in ascending order feature Sir Winston Churchill, Jane Austen, JMW Turner and Alan Turing, will be unchanged.
It was reported earlier that the Queen Elizabeth notes that are already in circulation – some 4.7 billion of them, worth £82bn – can still be used in the shops, even after the new notes enter circulation. The King Charles notes will only replace them when they are no longer fit for use, or when there is any increased demand.
The Royal household has given guidance encouraging such a move, rather than a wholesale switch, in order to minimise the environmental and financial impact of the change, BBC reported.