New Polymer £20 note enters circulation

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Today, the 20th of February 2020, the new polymer £20 note featuring artist JMW Turner has entered circulation for the first time to replace the two billion paper £20 notes we’ve become accustomed to seeing. The new note will start appearing in tills and the Bank of England expect half of all cash machines and across the UK will be dispensing the new polymer £20 note within the next two weeks.

The new polymer £20 note is the most secure Bank of England banknote yet. It includes two see-through windows and a two colour foil which make it very difficult to counterfeit. The note will join the Churchill £5 and the Austen £10 in the first series of polymer notes. A new polymer £50 featuring Alan Turing will be issued next year.

“Our banknotes celebrate the UK’s extraordinarily rich and diverse heritage and highlight the contributions of its greatest citizens. Turner’s art was transformative. I am delighted that the work of arguably the single most influential British artist of all time will now appear on another 2 billion works of art – the new £20 notes that people can start using today.”
– Mark Carney, Governor, Bank of England

Turner’s self-portrait, as featured on the new £20 note, is currently on display at Tate Britain alongside the banknote. Home to the Turner Bequest which includes 300 oil paintings and many thousands of sketches and watercolours, Tate Britain will also present a major new exhibition dedicated to Turner later this year, ‘Turner’s Modern World’. A star work in the exhibition will be The Fighting Temeraire.

What about old paper £20 notes?

If you have old paper £20 notes don’t worry as you can continue to use them as normal – The Bank of England will give 6 months’ notice before they cease to be legal tender and in the mean time both the paper and polymer notes will be in circulation as paper notes are gradually withdrawn when banked and only new Polymer notes issued.

New polymer £20 and Snapchat

To bring the new note to life, the Bank of England worked with Snapchat to develop a lens which allows you to bring your cash to life in a new dimension through augmented reality. You’ll need to buy one of the brand new polymer £20 notes which are available from today at a cost of £20.

  1. Open the Snapchat app and point the camera at the Snapcode, or click on the image above
  2. Press and hold on the Snapcode to unlock the AR Lens
  3. Once unlocked, hover over the note or a image of the new £20
  4. Watch as it transforms the note into a live piece of artwork
  5. Take a snap and share it


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