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Recent news to set the vending industry aquiver is George Osbourne’s announcement that a new pound coin will come into circulation in 2017.

The new coins, which will have 12 sides, will be issued by the Royal Mint and an attempt to fight the growing problem of counterfeiting. Although this will be a welcome change for many industries, it is likely to be a cause for concern for vending machine operators. So what advice can we give? Well, in the immortal words of Douglas Adams, “Don’t panic!” because there are going to be more positives than negatives.

According to recent article in The Telegraph, there are an estimated 45million counterfeit pound coins in circulation today and it is on the increase. Although not inhibitive, counterfeit coins have been responsible for revenue loss for many vending operators, particularly with the mechanical coin operated machines such as tower and bulk vendors which are unable to weigh the coins electronically. The new design of coin should therefore be a welcome change and in the long run will mean decreased losses across the board.

The most obvious concern is going to be the cost incurred by the need to convert existing machines to accept the new coin. Fortunately for vending towers (and bulk vendors), the cost of conversion should be kept to a minimum as it will be a simple case of changing the coin carrier plates inside the mechanisms rather than the whole unit. More information about the dimensions of the coins will no doubt be made available prior to them coming into circulation to give people time to adapt and as we have two years to prepare for this, some forward-planning for the expenditure will help cushion the blow.

But let’s not forget the positives that will come from this and weigh the initial costs against the long-term savings that will come from not having to filter out counterfeit money from your takings.

Although it is not yet confirmed whether the coins will operate in shopping trollies, we do expect that the change will also help reduce, if not eliminate, the problem of trolley tokens being used in vending towers.

Your vending supplier will be able to advise you as more information becomes available but we will keep posting with updates so be sure to check back for further advice.