In the latest edition of WWW, Coinadrink MD Roger Williams explains why we didn’t charge our ‘operated’ customers to up-grade coin mechanisms.
We’re often told that, these days, we’re on the verge of becoming a cashless society and it’s true that an ever-increasing proportion of transactions these days are completed without recourse to notes and coins…
Having said that, did you know that there are around 29 billion coins in circulation in the UK, with a face value of more than £4bn?*
So, nobody decides to introduce a new coin on a whim – there has to be a really good reason to risk wide-scale disruption by minting, say a new £1.
There are around 29 billion coins in circulation in the UK, with a face value of more than £4bn
The ‘really good reason’ this time around was the fact that one in 30 of the old ones were fake. The new £1 has a much more complicated design than its predecessor, making it much more difficult – if not impossible – to copy.
It’s fair to say that the introduction of the new coin has not been without its issues: Tesco, for example, had to unlock over 100,000 shopping trolleys because the coin acceptors hadn’t been updated in time.
A journalist from The Guardian* newspaper tried and failed to use the coin to make a call from a pay phone; to dry his washing at a launderette and to feed a parking meter.
Fingers have been pointed at ‘the guilty’ and unfortunately, The Royal Mint hasn’t emerged from the inquest as ‘squeaky-clean’. We have it on good authority that the design was 6 months behind schedule and that the first production samples weren’t up to scratch. It took three months to resolve that issue. You’d have thought that the introduction of the coin would be delayed by a similar length of time; but it was decided to proceed ‘full steam ahead’, even though – evidently – not everybody and everything was ready.
We were as ready as we could be and we’re pleased – and relieved – to say that, with one or two exceptions, the introduction of the new coin has been relatively plain sailing for Coinadrink customers. At least so far! And whilst some of our competitors chose to make an extra charge for the up-grade, we saw it as ‘part of the Coinadrink service’.
Until next time,
*According to The Guardian newspaper.