Retailers are reminded that there are just four weeks left before the new polymer £5 note enters circulation on 13 September.

The new £5 note, which features Winston Churchill, will be followed by a new polymer £10 note next summer and a new £20 note in 2020.

The Bank of England is urging retailers to contact all suppliers of cash handling machines in their stores to discuss what adaptations will be required. For most machines, a software update will be needed.

The new notes will be printed on polymer, a thin and flexible plastic material. The new notes are preferred to current paper notes because they are safer, stronger and cleaner, the Bank of England said.

The new notes also have an advanced security feature that delivers improved protection against counterfeiting.

By January 2017 around half of all paper £5 notes in circulation will have been replaced by polymer, ahead of a total withdrawal of paper notes from circulation in May 2017.

Victoria Cleland, the chief cashier at the Bank of England, said: “It is now less than one month until the first Bank of England £5 polymer note enters circulation. This is a really exciting time and feedback from our Regional Roadshows demonstrates that many of the public are keen to use the cleaner, safer, stronger notes.

“Businesses have an important role in the introduction of the new notes, and I would encourage them to understand how to use the sophisticated new security features that deliver a leap forward in counterfeit resilience.”