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BBC Radio Norfolk New Pound Coin Interview

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Yesterday saw our very own director Chris Skipper interviewed by BBC Radio Norfolk. Speaking about the changes that will come with the new 12 sided £1 coin.

According to the New Pound Coin website it has a number of features which aim to make it more difficult for counterfeiting:

Which includes the new 12 sided design, bimetallic composite, latent imagery which is similar effects of a hologram, micro-lettering, milled edges of alternative sides and hidden security feature.

The coin is slightly larger than the older round £1 coins which means that from a vending perspective lots of work will need to be done to update the systems and mechanisms.
As stated on  the current £1 coin needs to be replaced due to it’s vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters.

Approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit

In March 2017 the new £1 hits the streets and it’s important everyone is prepared, from retailers to equipment in vending and amusements even down to shopping trolleys.

Because come Autumn 2017 companies will no longer be obliged to accept the old coins and companies can no longer distribute it either.

Any coin changes for us is an expensive operation, it’s going to be a mass of work for us as an industry it’s probably going to cost 26 million in terms of vending equipment in the UK

We have had to do software updates coin mechanisms and some will even become obsolete as round coins will be discontinued in the Autumn. This will take many man hours of updates on machines which only take 5 to 10 minutes but this adds up to a lot of hours lost just to bring everything up to scratch.

In some places, the cost could be passed to the customer, but we haven’t done that yet or the calculation to see what it will cost the business and businesses. It’s one of these things; that come along, it happened with the 5 pence pieces and then the 10 pence pieces even the 50 pence coins too. Every few years we seem to get this problem but we just get our heads down and get on with it.
We have been given the specifications to work to yet, these have only come through recently. It’s been a very drawn out affair with consultations going late referencing size etc. Then  the other issue with the coin for us are things like how well it will roll down a coin chute.  We have only one example of the new £1 12 sided coin so far to go by.

We have done updates on the coin counter that will and has cost us several thousand to be ready for, not taking into consideration we need to count this new coin as well as old coin.

There is a lot of pressure on everyone to get prepared before it turns from the specification date. Because we get to the point quickly where we’re updating machines then everyone wants it done yesterday! It would have been nice to have the facility to upgrade all machines over next 12 months, even with this though we would still have to go around again anyway and activate new software afterwards. We’re pushed to the position where we have to visit every machine and update it very fast. Then in the Autumn when the banks stop and others stop taking the old coins, we could still even after so many updates have equipment out there accepting old £1 coins it so its a bit of a double edge sword in  that we need to get one in and the other out past a certain point.

The government told people in November to be prepared for the changes, I believe most people will be prepared for this.

Most members of the federation of small businesses are reported to not have done much in terms of updating or changes due to the heavy Christmas period.
Depending on the type of business they may or may not be cutting their timeline short for this change. Retailers may be better prepared than companies who deal with mechanical sides. For instance amusements, shopping trolleys, parking meters and more who have a large job to tackle.

It will all happen and come together in the end but  it will be a process of catch up depending on how fast we can accomplish the changes in 2017

Chris Skipper
NVCS Speaking to Radio Norfolk

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