The HM Treasury believes there is a strong case for introducing a new £1 coin to help reduce counterfeiting and ensure the integrity of the United Kingdom’s currency. The notion was echoed this week by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
The Royal Mint has developed anti-counterfeiting technology which will enable Her Majesty’s Treasury to modernise the United Kingdom’s circulating currency with the production of a brand new £1 coin.
The Royal Mint has produced a prototype for a replacement £1 coin which utilises multiple layers of technology and would allow the United Kingdom to rapidly reduce the rate of counterfeit coins entering general circulation.
A public design competition will be held at a later date to choose the design for the reverse, or ‘tails’, of the coin which is expected to be introduced in 2017.
The coin will be constructed from two different coloured metals and contain an iSIS security feature – a new high security coinage currency system developed by The Royal Mint.
iSIS – Integrated Secure Identification Systems – enables not just coins, but the whole cash cycle to be more secure, protecting the public, vending machine operators, retailers, and the wider banking system.
Project iSIS is the work of The Royal Mint’s in-house technology team and involves the application of an existing security technology that has been proven over decades in banknotes. It is the first time that this existing security has been successfully embedded into coins.
George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said, “ After thirty years loyal service, the time is right to retire the current £1 coin, and replace it with the most secure coin in the world. With advances in technology making high value coins like the £1 ever more vulnerable to counterfeiters, it’s vital that we keep several paces ahead of the criminals to maintain the integrity of our currency. I am particularly pleased that the coin will take a giant leap into the future, using cutting edge British technology while at the same time, paying tribute to past in the12-sided design of the iconic threpenny bit.”
Michael Lane, Channel & Product Director at Secure Trading believes it is a step in the right direction in the fight against fraud: “It’s promising to see the Treasury addressing forgery by introducing the new £1 coin. However, the government seems to be overlooking the more detrimental fraudulent activity that occurs online.
“Online payments are subject to fraud each day all over the world, costing UK business vast amounts of money. And with the new wave of unregulated virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, this illegal activity is being somewhat facilitated. It is vital that businesses are aware of the level of online payments fraud and take the correct steps towards mitigating the risks.”
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