The impact of the new £1 coin on retailers

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The Royal Mint has recently launched a new 12-sided £1 coin to replace the ‘round pound’.

Launched in 1983, it turns out that the round pound is relatively easy to forge, with the Government estimating that there’s currently around 45 million counterfeit £1 coins in circulation in the UK.

The Royal Mint has shipped out 1.5 billion dodecagon coins to cash centres across the country, claiming the new 12-sided £1 is the most secure coin in the world.

The new coin features a hologram image that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when viewed from different angles. It also comes with micro-sized lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides of the coin and a secret high security feature built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future.

Retailers have played a major role in getting the new coins out to the public, with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) reporting that most retailers are net distributors of £1 coins, ordering in tens of millions every month.

Retailers should have already contacted their equipment supplier by now to find out if they need any adaptions or replacements and made changes to their coin handling equipment. 

If they haven’t there’s still time as there will be a co-circulation period between March 28th and October 15th 2017. During this time, retailers will be able to accept both coins and are advised to return old and new coins in separate bags to the bank to enable them to quickly process the change.

“It’s no small feat. For retailers, this has meant updating trolleys, vending machines, parking meters, self-service check-outs and various machines used to count cash in the back offices of shops all across the country,” said the BRC.

“We estimate the cost of these preparations to the retail industry alone to be in the range of £22 million.”

After October 16th 2017, retailers are under no obligation to accept the round £1 coin from customers and should not distribute them.