New £1 coin will cost firms thousands

By Jackie Turley in Business

We are keeping the round pound coin.

But it’s all change for vending machines and pay and display parking machines that need to be adapted to accept the new 12-sided £1 coin being introduced in the UK next month.

The cost to one family business alone, MannVend, has been estimated at £22,000.

Treasury announced this week that the Isle of Man will not be following suit at this stage in introducing a 12-sided one pound coin and phasing out the round version.

The Manx round pound will continue to be legal tender here, alongside the new and old UK pound coins.

A Treasury spokesman told the Manx Independent: ‘The Isle of Man has its own currency and has decided that for the time being, it is content to retain the round £1 coin.’

He said Treasury would continue to monitor the situation and consider the introduction of a 12-sided Manx pound coin in the future.

For MannVend, the introduction of the new coin means having to convert about 200 vending machines around the island, along with their coin counting machine, at a cost of about £22,000.

The company’s managing director, Tracey Leahy, welcomed the introduction of the 12-sided £1 coin but she added: ‘For us as a business, from a practical perspective, converting the coin mechanisms is a costly and timely exercise.

‘All of our cash taking machines have to be configured to accept three versions of the £1 coin now.

‘The new 12 sided version, the old round version and the Manx round version.

‘The machines are all over the island so visiting them to carry out the upgrade is timely but all have been scheduled to be completed by the end of March.

‘We are also offering this upgrade service to other people with their own machine.

‘We estimate the new coins will be in full circulation by June 2017 after the influx of TT visitors.’

Douglas Council operates four pay and display car parks in the borough: Shaw’s Brow, the Bottleneck, Chester Street and Drumgold Street (Marks and Spencer).

Council leader David Christian said the first they heard about the island’s position was Treasury’s announcement to the press this week.

He said: ‘Our director of regeneration and environment has confirmed that the machines will be programmed to accept both Manx and UK legal tender.

‘I will be seeking assurances that this is done prior to coins going into circulation.’

He said it involved a UK company altering the chip and then it being fitted by the council’s trained staff.

The last time the machines had to be updated was to accept the plastic £5 note.

In the UK the new 12-sided coin is being introduced on March 28.

From October, the round pound will no longer be accepted in shops in the UK, but it will still be able to be exchanged by banks.

The Royal Mint says the £1 coin is being replaced for the first time in more than 30 years because of its ‘vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters’.

It estimates that one in 30 UK £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit.

The new 12-sided £1 coin is thinner, lighter and slightly larger than the round £1.

Features that make it more difficult to counterfeit include its distinctive shape, bimetallic design, micro-lettering and what the Royal Mint describes as a ‘hidden high security feature’.

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Fell · 164 days ago · Report

If the UK round pound will no longer be accepted after October in the U.K. will the same U.K. round pounds cease to be acceptable in shops here even if the Manx. round pound remains normal tender here?

Spook · 165 days ago · Report

Very true, once they have been spent somewhere here. What happens when counterfeit coins are then found in the UK?

Leon · 165 days ago · Report

@spook, If you read the article through thoroughly, it makes it clear that the UK coins will be repatriated to the UK so they will not continue to circulate in the Island.

Spook · 165 days ago · Report

So as I noted before, the UK are changing the pound coin because of the huge amount of counterfeit existing UK pound coins that are in circulation there and obviously here too. When the UK coin is withdrawn in a few weeks guess where the UK coins, genuine and counterfeit, will find themselves here. To not follow the UK in this matter is simply stupid.

Fell · 165 days ago · Report

Another example, if ever one was needed, of how dysfunctional and inflexible the multiplicity of currency systems are in the Sterlingnonzone.

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