New polymer £20 notes going into circulation today

Lawrence Kim
February 22, 2020

"I am very grateful to everyone across the cash industry who has made this transition possible and I hope the public enjoys using their new Turner £20s".

The Bank of England is calling it "the most secure bank note yet", with two windows and a two-colour foil to thwart fraudsters.

Like the new £5 and £10 notes featuring Winston Churchill and Jane Austen the notes will be made of polymer which the Bank of England says is harder to counterfeit and will last longer.

The challenge was created by UK-based loan company Ocean Finance to mark the launch of the new £20 note, which enters circulation today.

The new £20 notes will be available for exchange at the Bank of England Counter from 9am and some major ATM across the nation. Tilt the note from side to side and you will see the words change between "twenty" and "pounds".

It includes two see-through windows and a two colour foil which make it very hard to counterfeit.

Under a good quality ultra-violet light, the number "20" appears in bright red and green on the front of the note, against a duller background.

The new £20 note is the first to feature the signature of Sarah John, the Bank's current Chief Cashier.

The note also contains a "tactile feature" to help vision-impaired people identify it.

The higher the value of a note, the larger it is.

- Anything else special about it?

Early adopters of the new £20 notes could be able to make a few pennies by watching out for rare serial numbers.

The note will appear to transform into a live piece of artwork through the use of augmented reality.

When will old paper £20 notes be unusable?

Turner's self-portrait, as featured on the new £20 note, is now on display at Tate Britain alongside the banknote.

Both notes will be accepted as legal tender for a period of time before the old one is withdrawn.

The rapid decline in cash use in recent years, as digital payments have surged, has sparked debates about whether we are heading towards a cashless society.

The new £20 banknote will then be joined by a new polymer £50, featuring Alan Turing, next year.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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