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Today The Bank of England released a new £1 coin into circulation in the UK. It’s a new, 12-sided coin which the Royal Mint claims is the “most secure coin in the world”.
Photo Credit: The Royal Mint
The enhanced security comes from the various different design features on the new coin. The image on the coin is unique in the sense that it acts like a hologram, and there is tiny lettering on the rim on both faces of the coin. There is also a ‘secret’ feature that makes it even more difficult to counterfeit. No one knows for sure that the secret feature is, but there are some rumours that it’s to do with the metal the coin is made from. With the current round coin, around 1 in 40 are actually fake! But don’t go rushing out to get rid of all your old coins yet, you have until the 15th October this year to spend them.
Now understanding using cash is easy, but what about electronic money? Do you know how that works? Have you ever stopped to think about how a simple swipe or tap of your card pays the person or company you want it to? Visa have set out a super handy diagram that explains exactly how it works!
The first step in the chain is you getting your hands on a debit or credit card account. So this step would be when you’ve opened your Monese account and we’ve sent you your contactless Visa card. In this instance, Monese would be the ‘issuer’.
Now you have your card and decide to go shopping. You’re at the cash desk and use your card to pay, either by contactless or chip and pin.
The retailer sends the payment request through to the ‘acquirer’. The acquirer is a company that processes payments for the merchant, which allows them to offer card transactions in their stores.
After the acquirer has received the transaction request they will contact the card issuer (your bank) to make sure that there are enough funds available in your account to complete the purchase.
The issuer ‘replies’ to the acquirer by either approving or declining the transaction.
If your transaction has been approved, the acquirer will pay the merchant and you are free to take your items home!
Now you might think stage 6 was the last step, but not for the bank or the acquirer! Around 3 or 4 days later the money will be debited from your account and you’ll see the amount and who you paid in your bank statement.