In recent years, the Bank of England (BoE) has withdrawn the paper versions of the £5 and £10 notes from circulation and is set to expand it even further by early this autumn. The new measures will affect which versions of the £20 note you can use to buy items such as food and clothing. So can you still use old £20 notes?
Can you still use old £20 notes?
Currently, you can still use the old paper version of the £20 note as legal tender throughout the UK.
However, this will all change from September when the BoE makes its final rule change.
Tuesday September 30 is the last day Britons will be able to use the paper versions of the £20 and £50 notes.
After this date, if you want to pay with either of these tenders, you will have to use the new polymer varieties.
The polymer version of the £20 note entered circulation in February 2020, with the BoE later announcing a date when the old version would expire.
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Thanks to their plastic material, the banknotes have been hailed as “the most secure banknote to date” by the BoE.
In fact, according to the bank’s website, the hardware enables “enhanced security features, such as transparent windows and holograms.”
Once the period expires on £20 paper tickets to use, residents can opt into an exchange process whereby you will receive a new version of the tender.
One way to do this is to send them to the BoE by post, but the bank warns that “notes are sent at your own risk”.
Alternatively, if you have a UK bank account, the easiest and quickest way to exchange your notes will normally be to deposit them with your bank.
The post office may also accept banknotes withdrawn as payment for goods and services, or for deposit in any bank account you can access with them.
What’s new in the design of the £20 note?
Romantic painter JMW Turner, born in 1775 to a barber and wigmaker and often referred to as one of the great masters of painting, was chosen as the recipient to be placed in the design of the new polymer £20 note.
The decision was taken by Mark Carney, the former BoE governor, who said: “Turner is perhaps the most influential British artist of all time. His work was transformative, bridging the classical and modern worlds. His influence lasted throughout his life and is still apparent today.
An interesting quirk of the banknote also means it can “come to life” with a new Snapchat feature.
By hovering your phone over the note or an image of the new £20, a “living work of art” will appear on your smartphone.