Lobby group Retail NI has urged retailers and the wider business sector to be aware of the changes following the introduction of the £1 coin on Tuesday.
“This is a very significant change and we would urge retailers and the wider business community to make sure they are ready,” said chief executive Glyn Roberts.
“Approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation today is a counterfeit. The new, highly secure coin will reduce the costs of counterfeits to retailers and the taxpayer.
“The wider economy will benefit from the reduced costs associated with a fall in the counterfeit rate, as well as from a currency in which there is widespread confidence.”
In advance he said the organisation was advising businesses to check what equipment they operate that accepts £1 coins and talk to the manufacturers or suppliers of their coin handling equipment to find out if they need adaptations to accept the new coin.
“Businesses should also train their staff who handle cash on the features of the new coin as well as considering any changes that they make need to make to their cash handling processes by talking to their bank,” he said.
“The legal tender status of the round £1 coin will be withdrawn on 15th October 2017. From this date shops will no longer accept these coins, but you will still be able to take them to your bank.
“Following the ending of legal tender status, the current round £1 coin can continue to be deposited into a customer’s account, either business or personal, at most high street banks and the Post Office.
“Specific arrangements may vary from bank to bank, including deposit limits. It is recommended that you consult with your bank directly,” he added.