The current £1 coin is to be replaced by a 12-sided coin from March next year, the government has announced.

The coin is being replaced for the first time in over 30 years to protect against sophisticated counterfeiters and is being labelled the most secure coin in circulation around the world by the Royal Mint.

Levels of counterfeit £1 coins have been as high as 3% in the past few years, equating to around 45 million coins. The new coin will aim to reduce the costs of counterfeits to businesses and the taxpayer.

There will be a six-month period of co-circulation of both £1 coins before the current coin is phased out. The Royal Mint has stated that it will work with key industries and businesses to assist them and raise awareness of the coin before its 2017 launch.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “81% of transactions in convenience stores are cash based and many retailers utilise coin operated machines for services like coffee and through self-service tills, so we expect some disruption in stores as employees and the public get used to the new £1 coin and while stores go through the process of adapting their machines. We are working with the Bank of England to communicate changes to retailers and ensure minimal disruption.”