The new £1 coin became legal currency in March, with the Royal Mint releasing 1.5 billion of them into the economy.
It’s a change for the better. Thanks to its unique 12-sided profile and further aided by an embedded hologram and other innovative features, it is designed to provide a vigorous deterrent against the counterfeiting that beset the old coin.
HM Treasury has hailed the new currency as, “the most secure of its kind in the world”. Now the clock is ticking in preparation for the withdrawal of the old £1 coin, which will cease to be legal tender from 15th October 2017.
For businesses using coin-operated lockers, it’s time to prepare for the demise of the old £1 coin to ensure a trouble-free transition.
Shaun Powell, General Sales Manager (Industrial Locking) of high-quality door locking and functionality specialist, Abloy UK, said industry had been gathering momentum towards the change in the months leading up to the coin’s launch. However, Shaun says even now, some organisations remain unaware of the need to change locking mechanisms to accommodate its 12-sided shape, citing the case of colleges and universities who open to the public in the evenings, where coin-operated lockers are still commonly in use.
Old locks to be obsolete
Sports centres, gyms and swimming facilities are currently slow on the uptake, with many still using the old £1 coin-operated lockers; after 15th October, these lockers will be obsolete if they are not upgraded and made compatible with the new coin.
Golf clubs who provide coin-operated lockers for visiting players are on board with the changes, Shaun says, with plenty of interest from the clubs because they understand the importance to their livelihood of society days and other public events.
Repercussions for businesses
Whether organisations convert their existing lockers to take the new coin or if they choose brand new locks to accommodate the 12-sided currency, this will depend largely on the cost. Although conversion kits may be cheaper to buy, sites must take into account the added outlay of fitting them. If there are hundreds of lockers to convert, that could be the deciding factor.
The only option, other than upgrading existing locks to accept the new £1 coin, is to replace all of the lockers; an unrealistic option in terms of costs. Businesses need to act now to ensure their lockers aren’t obsolete after 15th October – as any facility that can’t accommodate customers’ personal belongings risks losing revenue.
Converting easily from coin return to coin retain, a classic coin lock that accepts both the old and the new £1 coins can be fitted by Crown Sports Lockers. We can efficiently and quickly replace or convert your existing coin locks with left or right-hand operations. Alternatively, we can supply conversion kits for in-house refurbishment, depending on customer requirements.
Another option, the low-cost e-Lite coin lock will operate with both old and new coins. As it is corrosion-resistant, it is suitable for wet or dry changing areas. This coin return-only option also comes in left and right hand versions.
Crown has the necessary know-how to ensure owners and operators never lock out valuable revenue as long as coin-operation locks still figure in customer service and management strategies.