Published on July 5th, 2014 | by Pete0
You can picture the scene. You are pulling your washing out of the machine, and discover the mashed up remains of a £50 note. You are heartbroken, crestfallen in fact, all of your hard work wrecked, and all because you were in such a rush to get your clothes sorted. This has never happened to me though. One reason, is that I’ve never had a £50 note! Another reason, is that I’ve just been lucky enough to avoid such heartache.
Good news for those of you who have fallen victim to this clanger though. There are rumours afoot that we can now look forward to plastic banknotes. These are set to be introduced by the Bank of England in 2016, and they can confidently take on the washing machine, and laugh in the face of any water related threat. The Bank of England also makes the point that these plastic notes (actually made from polymer for those science buffs amongst you), stay much cleaner than the conventional ‘old hat’ cotton notes that we have been using for the last century.
We seem to be a bit slow out of the blocks here in the UK, as over 20 other countries have already introduced plastic money. The first banknotes we can look forward to will depict the legendary Sir Winston Churchill. Is this actually something the great British people want though? Well, after a survey, nearly 13,000 people gave feedback. The Bank of England reported that 87% of those who responded were in favour of polymer, only 6% were opposed and 7% were neutral. However, some suggested the notes were too slippery.
Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said: “Ensuring trust and confidence in money is at the heart of what central banks do. Polymer notes are the next step in the evolution of banknote design to meet that objective. The quality of polymer notes is higher, they are more secure from counterfeiting, and they can be produced at lower cost to the taxpayer and the environment.”
Well, that all sounds smashing doesn’t it? So what lies ahead? Are careering towards a Robocop style future, with flying cars, plastic money, and holodecks? I’m not sure, I don’t know what else will come along. I do think though, that this is not a particularly surprising move, especially given the general shift towards plastic anyway. We are at an age of contactless payment, where you can waft your credit card in the general direction of a beepy machine to make payment, so I’m of the opinion that we are moving towards a cashless society anyway. There are lots of credit card companies who are at the forefront of this technology. American Express and other companies are amongst those leading the way in this field, and along with the points and rewards that you can enjoy from using their cards, I say bring on the future, things are on the up.
Now, where did I put that fiver…