Alan Dee: Squaring up to the implications of a pound that isn’t round

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There has been some expected grumbling about plans to dabble with a dodecagon design in a bid to make the pound in your pocket a little more secure.

It’s entirely understandable, because nobody likes change – boom, boom, thank you, I’m here all week.

The biggest cause for complaint, it seems, is the huge cost of converting every coin slot in the country to cope with the new-fangled shape.

We’ve seen this happen before when other new coins were introduced, or existing bits of shrapnel were re-shaped, and it was certainly a giant task.

But I have bad news for anyone seriously concerned about how they are going to pay for parking, grab a snack or equip themselves for an anticipated session of responsible rutting in the not too distant future.

There is already a steady creep of services for which cash is no longer an option, and if you ask me the whole 12-sided £1 project will be used as an excuse to phase out any coin-only payment process.

You’ll be expected to pay with plastic or some other system, and gradually coins will be sidelined completely.

I haven’t got a particular problem with that, but there are some serious issues at stake.

Using coins means you can avoid leaving a thumping great trail detailing each and every thing you have been spending money on.

Mrs Dee, who is a careful checker of statements on a monthly basis, is already pursed of lip and given to terse comment as she tots up the various cash machine withdrawals I’ve made – giving her access to exactly where I slipped down a sneaky pint, indulged in a forbidden doughnut or paid for a left-luggage locker in which to store sundry body parts or whatever else I couldn’t get away with dumping in the garage can only lead to unpleasantness.

The only alternative, I suppose, would be some sort of ‘pay as you go’ coin card that would be as good as cash and just as anonymous – but I bet you’d be expected to pay £11 for £10 worth, if not more.

It’s one potential area for investment, because there are always opportunities at times like these.

But those of us with vague memories of the old threepenny bit, on which the new £1 is based, will realise that there is a less capital-intensive way for the fleet-footed entrepreneur to make a little something out of the big switch.

Family members routinely sneer at my habit of carrying coins in a little snap-top leather sack – it’s not a purse, all right? – which not only prevents trouser pocket to back of sofa coin transfer but also protects my prized trews from rapid wear and tear. With more and more coins shifting from a traditional round shape, that’s going to be more of a problem, and I aim to be there with a solution.

Cash only, of course.