England to Launch New Plastic Money with Enhanced Security
“Paper or plastic?” Who would have thought that question would ever apply to currency? In three months, the Bank of England will launch a new £5 note made from thin, flexible plastic, said to be more secure and more durable than traditional paper money.
The “New Fiver,” as it has been coined, is printed on polymer, which is naturally resistant to dirt and moisture. This is said to make the note last 2.5 times longer than the current £5 note, making it more environmentally friendly. The longer a note can stay in circulation, the fewer notes the bank has to print. Once the notes have finally exceeded their lifetime, they will be recycled.
Even though the Bank of England says only 0.0075% of notes were counterfeit in 2015, they’re looking to improve that number. The New Fiver will have several special security features in place to make it nearly impossible to replicate, including a clear window with a golden Elizabeth Tower on the front side, and a silver one on the back.
The new notes were unveiled on June 2nd, but they will not go into circulation until September 13th, 2016. The old notes will officially go out of circulation in May 2017. Most people will have exchanged their old notes for new ones by that time through standard transactions, but those with any old bills remaining can take them to the Bank of England after the deadline to get new notes.