The new £5 is about more than currency
There is more at stake here than the face on the currency.
The new £5 note will be part of the biggest upheaval in UK currency since the pound coin was introduced in 1983. 2017 in particular will be a banner year for new currency. With the new polymer £10 note and pound coin entering circulation, older £5 notes being withdrawn and Scotland also introducing its own polymer £5 note, the public and businesses will need to deal with a potentially confusing mix of changes to new and old currency. Businesses need to ensure that they and their employees can deal with the situation, both in recognising the new and old currencies and advising customers who are unlikely to have access to the same degree of preparation.
With so many changes at once, eliminating the chance for human error is also important. Without reliable technology, staff may make mistakes that result in them mis-counting cash or unwittingly accepting forged currency. Automation is one way of dealing with this; the faster machines such as ATMs and cash counting machines are adapted to recognise and process these currency changes, the easier things will be both for businesses and the public. This introduction of new currency is a long-term project: one that will be much easier if organisations get the first steps right. Taking advantage of the preparation time available will ensure the smoothest possible transition.