Paper banknotes: Spend them before it’s too late

11th July 2022


After 30 September 2022, £20 and £50 paper banknotes will no longer be legal tender meaning most businesses and shops will no longer accept them.


It has been just over one year since the newly issued polymer £50 note featuring Alan Turing were bought into circulation. The new polymer notes are more secure and harder for fraudsters to counterfeit. They also have raised bumps and dots in order to help blind and partially-sighted users to identify each banknote.


From 1 October 2022, it is still possible to exchange any old paper £20 and £50 notes for free at the Bank of England either in person or by post.

Bank of England guidance on exchanging old bank notes:


Getting your business ready

The Bank of England has released guidance as follows:

  • Most cash-handling machines will need a software update
  • If machines can’t accept the new notes before they are issued, have a process in place so customers can still pay
  • Train your staff

The Bank of England has released a document with advice on how to get your business ready for polymer bank notes which you can find here:

Disclaimer - All information in this post was correct at time of writing.
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