Retailers are being urged to prepare their businesses for the new £1 coin, which will enter circulation in March 2017.

As part of the ‘Is your business ready?’ campaign, the Government and The Royal Mint launched a new website today to help businesses ensure they are prepared for the new coin.

The campaign advises all cash-handling businesses to take the following five steps before March 2017:

  • check whether they operate equipment that handles the £1 coin
  • contact their equipment supplier to find out if they need to make any adaptations or upgrades
  • make the necessary changes to their coin handling equipment
  • train their staff on the features of the new £1 coin
  • make arrangements with their bank or cash in transit provider to return the current £1 coin

The current 30-year-old pound coin will be phased out as the new 12-sided version is brought in, with the older coin to become demonetised in autumn next year.

When it enters the market, the new pound coin will be the most secure of its kind in the world. It is estimated that there are currently around 45 million counterfeit pound coins in circulation.

New security features include a hologram-like image that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’, as well as micro-lettering and milled edges.

“The pound as we know it will not be around for much longer,” said David Gauke, chief secretary to the Treasury.

“The introduction of this new £1 coin will be a highly significant event and we are working with The Royal Mint to ensure key industries are ready and to ensure a smooth transition.”

Adam Lawrence, chief executive of The Royal Mint, added: “We would encourage business owners to visit the website as soon as possible, to find out how the new £1 coin could affect their business and what steps they need to take to prepare for the launch of the coin in March 2017.”

Click here to see The Royal Mint’s full list of resources for businesses.