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Find out more about the British currency and common forms of payment

The monetary unit in Scotland and the rest of the UK is the pound sterling, often represented by this symbol £ or abbreviated as GBP. Most people just call it the pound, and some use the slang term "quid" for it. For reference, one pound sterling equals 100 pence.

As Scotland has a strong independent spirit, there are also three Scottish banks that issue their own Scottish banknotes, which are legal currency in England as well. However, these notes are harder to exchange when you are outside the UK.

Currency exchange

Foreign currency exchange is available at banks, post offices in larger towns and some of the larger hotels and tourist offices. There are also Bureau de Change, but they tend to charge much higher commission and fees.

You can see current conversion rates on


Cashpoints (the common local name for ATMs) are widely available and you can usually find at least one in all small towns and villages. Please note that a 4-digit PIN number is required. Cash can be obtained against VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Cirrus, Plus and Maestro. Banking fees for ATM withdrawals and foreign transactions vary widely, so please check the rates with your bank(s).


Opening hours are usually 9:30 AM – 4 or 5 PM, Monday to Friday. Some are open 9:30 AM to 1 PM on Saturdays.

Credit & debit cards

Visa, MasterCard, Eurocard, Diners Club and American Express credit cards are widely accepted throughout Scotland and Northern England.

Lost or stolen cards

If your card is lost or stolen in Scotland or Northern England, please report it immediately using these UK customer service numbers:

  • American Express: call 0800 917 8047
  • MasterCard & Diners Club: call 0800 864 767
  • VISA: call 0800 891 725

Report any other lost or stolen belongings to the local police station.

Traveller’s cheques

Although less common, travellers cheques are also accepted at banks and major hotels or tourist centres. The exchange fees vary by location.

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