Are You Polymer Ready?

Are You Polymer Ready?

The new plastic five pound note was introduced last September and, despite some issues around the use of tallow, has been a huge success.

Designed to be more environmentally friendly to produce, harder wearing and far more secure, its intended life span far outstrips its predecessor.

So taken are the great British public with the “new blue” that the new £10’s arrival has been brought forward to this summer.

Forgers will find the new security features on polymer notes to make it a lot more difficult to counterfeit. These measures include a transparent section with the queen’s head. The new £10 and £20 notes will feature raised dots to help the visually impaired. The Bank of England has also issued advice for owners and operators of ATMs which can be found here.

The new plastic note has received a resounding welcome from almost everyone. It’s practically indestructible and will withstand the worst of treatment including a washing machine cycle and pet mutilation!

One drawback is that cash machines need to be adapted to deal with the new material. The newly printed plastic can be difficult to separate at first so the counting mechanisms have to be even more robust.

HSBC and RBS have both reported that the slippery nature of the polymer note have been a challenge for older machines that rely on friction to count out the bills. Both groups having been upgrading their networks since March 2016 to accommodate the shift in material.

In light of the UK’s reception to polymer notes, upgrades to your network are an investment as you will prevent over (or under) dispensing as well as offer your customers a great service.

If you have been experiencing issues of this nature in your network a hardware review may be in order to make sure that critical components are up to standard. TestLink utilises components from a variety of sources to guarantee maximum quality to cost benefits.

The one thing we never do is put an inferior component into the machines we service, regardless of whose name is on the box.

Before you roll out your upgrades, make sure you have everything in place as delays will inevitably cost you money. Here’s a simple checklist which might help:

1. What preparations have already been made for the introduction of polymer notes?

2. Do current machines accept and count polymer notes with any recorded issues?

3. Has current equipment – such as picker cups, rollers and sensors – been checked to see if they are polymer compatibile?

Any recalibration of your machines can be done relatively easily and TestLink technicians are qualified to work on all major makes and models of ATM machines.

Contact us today for further information about upgrading your ATMs and to learn more about our industry leading maintenance and technical support service.

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