2016 is a big year for banknotes. A new £5 note will be issued by the Bank of England in September, followed by a new £10 note in 2017 and new £20 note by 2020.
The next £5, £10 and £20 banknotes will be printed on polymer, a thin and flexible plastic material which are said to be cleaner, more secure and more durable than paper notes. Advanced security features will make them more difficult to counterfeit.
Sir Winston Churchill will feature on the back of the £5 note and Jane Austen will feature on the back of the £10 note.
The Bank of England is urging all retailers that handle cash need to prepare. Customers will be using the new £5 notes from September, before the new £10 note is issued in late 2017, the old £5 paper notes will have been withdrawn.
Staff need to be trained to recognise the new notes. The Bank of England will be unveiling the full design and security features for the new £5 note around three months before the issue date, and a range of training materials will be available.
“This is a good opportunity to remind staff how to check the security features on all notes,” said the Bank in a statement.