#RBTE2018: Bank of England introduces new Banknote Checking Scheme

At RBTE 2018 in London Stuart Cooper, manager, Banknote Engagement & Communications, Bank of England, introduced the company’s Banknote Checking Scheme designed to increase businesses’ resilience to the challenge of counterfeiting, and help build relationships between merchants and the UK’s central bank.

Cooper reflected on the continuing importance of physical cash, saying that “cash is still, despite what we hear, the most widely-used payment method in the UK. It’s clear that cash is going to continue to be as important to the economy as it is now, and continue to be really important to retailers.”

Unfortunately, he added, so will the counterfeiting of banknotes. “Counterfeiters are going to carry on producing them, and they are going to carry on targeting retailers.”

The fact is, Cooper said, the vast majority of counterfeit notes have been accepted by a retailer or business at some point, leading to a direct loss.

That’s why the Bank of England has implemented its new Banknote Checking Scheme to promote banknote checking through targeted training, proactively reduce the risk of financial/reputational loss, and recognise the Corporate Social responsibility contribution of helping to reduce counterfeit levels and the associated proceeds from crime.

The Scheme, which has been put together with the support of a range of strategic partners, has already been implemented by some of the biggest names on the high-street, Cooper said. Businesses can sign up to the free service by pledging to the six guiding principles of:

  1. Training staff to check banknotes at point of sale
  2. Teaching staff to know what to do with counterfeit banknotes
  3. Sharing information with the Bank of England
  4. Promoting the Scheme
  5. Supporting law enforcement activities
  6. Appointing a single point of contact responsible for the Scheme

In doing so, companies will benefit from a better relationship between themselves and their bank, empowered staff and a positive customer experience.

Read our full interview with Stuart Cooper on the Banknote Checking Scheme here