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Home > Banknotes > Advice for Retailers & Businesses

Advice for Retailers & Businesses

This page runs through the security features on the new polymer £5 note issued on 13 September 2016 and all current paper notes and offers general advice to retailers.

You can continue to accept the paper £5 note until 5 May 2017. After this date, legal tender status will be withdrawn.

To help protect businesses, we encourage retailers to ensure all banknotes being passed in transactions are checked and to ensure all staff know what to do if they suspect a banknote is counterfeit.

Manual checks can quickly and easily be made using the security features on banknotes whenever notes are being passed in a transaction.  Don't rely on checking just one security feature, but check a few.

If you would like to receive any of the following videos in mp4 format to help train your staff, please email

Polymer Banknotes

Watch the video below to see the security features of the new polymer £5 note, issued on 13 September 2016.


Paper Banknotes

The following short video shows how to check your paper banknotes are genuine using the security features.

Counterfeit Prevention

Watch our short video below for counterfeit prevention advice for retailers and businesses.
To find out more about our free of charge staff training materials, including a banknote app, booklet, posters, film and deterrent stickers, showing you how to check that banknotes are genuine, see the link below.
To receive emails with news and updates about Bank of England banknotes, including information on the introduction of polymer banknotes, please join our mailing list.

The Bank recommends that retailers and businesses establish a company policy so employees are clear on the procedures to follow should they be presented with or discover a counterfeit banknote. See Hints & Tips below for more information.
Some retailers and businesses use machines to count, sort and validate banknotes. To assist both users and manufacturers the Bank has a framework for testing machine capabilities, see 'Framework for Cash Handling Machines' link below for more information.
The Bank is keen to work on anti-counterfeiting issues with retailers/businesses and trade associations directly. If you would like help or advice please contact us.
What to do if you get a counterfeit note Hints and tips

Dye stained banknotes
Framework for Cash Handling Machines