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The new £20 is coming – will you be the first to see it?

The new polymer £20 note will be released on Thursday 20th February 2020. It is the most secure Bank of England note yet, will last longer than paper notes and is easier for the visually impaired to use.

The note will be larger than the £5 and £10 notes and will include many security features that indicate authenticity. It features JMW Turner, an English Romantic landscape painter, watercolourist and printmaker who left many of his paintings to the nation in his will. You’ll find his self-portrait, one of his most eminent paintings and his signature on the note.

What security features should I look out for?

  • Changing hologram image – tilt the note from side to side to see it change from ‘Twenty’ to ‘Pounds’
  • See-through windows – check the metallic image is blue and gold on the front and silver on the back
  • Raised print – check the print is raised on the front of the note, for example ‘Bank of England’
  • Ultra-violet number – check under an ultra-violet light to see the number ’20’ appear in red and green on the front of the note

As these are polymer notes, like the recently updated £5 and £10 notes, they will have the same tendency to stick to each other. Avoid disruptions to till service by taking extra care to check you’ve been given the correct amount when receiving both polymer and paper notes.


When will I start to see the notes in my shop?

  • The notes started leaving cash centres around the country from Thursday 20th February
  • The locations of these cash centres will not be known to the general public
  • You can continue to accept paper notes – you’ll be given at least 6 months notice of the paper notes withdrawal as legal tender

Find out more about the new £20 note from the Bank of England website, including how to properly check the new note for authenticity.

Read more here


Competition! £20 launches in a handful of unknown locations…. Are you in one of them?

We’re running a competition to find the first £20 notes used in independent retailers across the UK! If you’re lucky enough to be one of the first to receive a brand new £20, you could be in for a chance of getting £20 off Bira membership or £20 off your next order through Bira Direct. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Take a photo of the £20 note in your shop before Sunday 15th March
  2. Send the photo us on Twitter or Facebook
  3. We’ll give you a code for £20 off Bira membership or the first 10 members to submit their photo to us will receive a £20 credit for their Bira Direct account.