Shoppers can now feel more money in their pockets as the Bank of England’s new £20 note has come into circulation with tactile markings to help it stand out from existing £5 and £10 notes.
The new note retains tiered sizing and includes bold numerals, similar colour palettes to the current paper notes and a unique tactile feature which is created by a series of raised dots. As with the current £5 and £10 notes, which have now been in circulation for more than two years, RNIB has worked with the Bank of England on the feel and look of the new note to ensure it is as accessible as possible.
Sarah John, chief cashier at the Bank of England, said making banknotes out of polymer allowed it to introduce a new tactile feature: “For the new £20 note, which is due to enter circulation on February 20, there will be three raised clusters of dots – little bumps on the note – in the top left hand corner which will allow vision impaired people to feel those three different clusters of dots. That will enable people to identify the £20 note, as distinct from the £10 note which has two clusters of dots, and the £5 note which doesn’t have the tactile feature at all.”
Watch our film on the new £20 note to learn more:
She added: “Making currency accessible to everyone in society is something that’s incredibly important to us at the bank. For quite a long time our banknotes have been different sizes to help people with sight loss recognise the different denominations of notes. They are different both in terms of their height and their width. They are also different colours and they have the denomination in a very nice, clear, print on a white background.”
David Clarke, director of services at RNIB, said: “Handling cash can often be a challenge if you're blind or partially sighted, because it can be difficult to tell the difference between the different notes and coins. We hope the creation of these notes will help lots of our members exchange money easily and more safely.”