Code of Conduct for Cash Recycling

UK Payments Council issue Code of Conduct

The UK Payments Council issues a Code of Conduct for the Authentication of Machine Dispensed Banknotes.

The Code requires retailers and ATM deployers to ensure that banknotes have been authenticated using a device tested by the Bank of England.

The Code of Conduct follows an industry consultation led by the Bank of England and has been prompted by the rapid growth in the local recirculation of banknotes resulting from use of convenience ATMs and self-service check-outs by retailers.

Cash is an important part of the UK's payment services - the British public spend over £250 billion each year in cash. For the public to trust and continue to use cash, they need to be confident that the banknotes they acquire are genuine.

Recent advances in cash-handling technology have led banks, building societies and retailers to use banknote tendered by the public to refill branch ATMs and self-service checkouts without first sending the cash back to a "wholesaler" for authentication. These innovations help to ensure cash remains a cost-effective payment mechanism, but they also change the way cash circulates. The Code of Conduct aims to ensure that similar procedures for banknote authentication are applied locally as are implemented in wholesale cash centres.

Counterfeit Banknotes

What do you do if you've been issued with a counterfeit banknote?

A problem may occur if a counterfeit note is dispensed by a machine, or is said to have been dispensed. Who does the customer complain to? Can the customer be believed? Can it be evidenced?

Where there is no human interaction, as there would be when a shop cashier or bank teller is involved, it is hard for the customer to prove that the fake banknote came from the machine. Similarly, how does a retailer guard against petty crooks "trying it on"?