Print your own money service to launch

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Please note, the following story was first published before 12pm on 1 April.

The Bank of England is planning to allow consumers to print their own money from home, MoneySavingExpert.com can reveal.

It will shortly trial computer software in Swindon that will be rolled out nationwide in summer if successful.

Only those with an SN postcode will be able apply for the product from next week, called Fast Cash. It will be limited to one per household.

Fast Cash will be available from selected online retailers initially, the names of which will be revealed next week.

The package will include a CD with the software and special paper of banknote quality.

What's the cost?

You will be able to print £5, £10, £20 notes under the £49.99 basic package.

A premium service for an extra £20 allows you to print £50 notes.

Within the package, you'll get enough paper to print 100 of each of the different banknotes.

Extra paper packets cost £10 for the basic package and £15 for premium.

It is expected the initial pack and extra sheets will be available from supermarkets and stationery shops, if the roll out goes nationwide.

For the software to work you need to be running the Windows XP or Mac OS X Leopard (v10.5) operating systems, or more recent versions, together with a colour inkjet or laserjet printer.

Update 12.01pm 1 April 2012. We've just had confirmation from the Bank of England that the project has been pulled due to lack of funding (why it didn't just print some cash to fund it we're not sure).

Our view

Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert.com creator, says: "It's good to see the Bank of England getting innovative. This should bring currency up to date for the internet age with the instant, easy print access we've come to expect in an online world.

"As there's no commission, it really is free money.

"I can't wait to give it a go – it makes me wish I lived in Swindon. The idea of everyone just being able to press a button and print their cash is genius – good news for ink manufacturers too.

"It's great to see Britain at the forefront of this type of technology."

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