The Bank of England’s first polymer note – a £5 featuring Sir Winston Churchill – has entered circulation today.
The new £5 note
Polymer is resistant to dirt and moisture and lasts around 2.5 times longer than paper, and will be harder to counterfeit.
The Bank of England has printed 440 million new notes that will be available from cash machines and bank counters across the UK, although some people may have to wait up to a week to get one.
Paper £5 notes will be gradually withdrawn as they are banked by retailers and businesses. They will be accepted until 5 May 2017, after which they will cease to be legal tender.
A polymer £10 featuring Jane Austen will be introduced from summer next year, followed by the JMW Turner £20 note by 2020.
The Bank of England has issued a checklist on how to identify a counterfeit polymer note below.