Tesco unlocks trolleys as the new pound coin is incompatible with current locks

Tesco needs to upgrade its trolleys

Supermarket Tesco has made a bold decision following the introduction of the new 12-sided pound coin - it is to unlock its trolleys in around 200 stores until it can fit locks capable of handling the coins.

There's a wider story at play, the pound, which comes into circulation on Tuesday 28 March, is incompatible with a lot of machinery designed for the round pound coin.

This could conceivably create widespread problems for the likes of vending machines, parking meters and more automated machines - the Automatic Vending Association (AVA) estimates that around 15% of vending machines to be exact.

Vendors have a choice, upgrade to handle the new currency, ignore it and face losing revenue, or drop physical payments altogether and move towards digital or NFC paypoints.

Tesco looks to make the shopping process as frictionless as possible and forcing consumers - who are committing to a large spend by seeking a trolley - to hunt for an antiquated coin does not suit those purposes.

Tesco said: "We're replacing the locks on our trolleys to accept old and new pound coins as well as existing trolley tokens.

"As an interim measure we will unlock trolleys while this process is completed and we will continue to have colleagues on hand to attend trolleys in our stores, so our customers aren't affected by the changes."

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