The Bank of England is to launch a public consultation on printing money on polymer banknotes instead of paper.
Research found that printing on polymer increased the durability, quality and security of the banknotes, according to the Bank of England.
Consultations will be held across the UK over the next two months and a final decision will be announced in December.
If a decision is made to move to polymer the Bank said it will introduce smaller banknotes but this will not alter the current look or existing tiered sizing.
Polymer banknotes would be introduced one denomination at a time, with the Churchill £5 in 2016 at the earliest.