In an overhaul of the paper money system in the UK, the Bank of England has put out the production of notes to tender.
Part of the contract is that the winning bidder must be able to print plastic (polymer) notes to be ready for circulation in 2015.
The introduction of the more durable polymer notes has already happened in several countries in the world, including Australia, New Zealand, and the Northern Ireland millennium £5 note.
The notes are waterproof, absorb fewer bacteria, and are more difficult to counterfeit.
The final decision on how the notes will be made, and what they will include has not been made yet. Some business and government sources are suggesting that forms of technology should be introduced to make the notes more traceable – apparently to counter money laundering.
It is possible that RF tags could be embedded in every note (or at least in higher denomination notes) which will enable the authorities to track the movement of cash all over the world. The technology is already advanced, and Saudi Arabia is looking to use the technology in its bank notes in the very near future.