Another euro note - again?

17 January 2017

United Kingdom

Szandra Pap

Glory Global

Another Euro Note Again

What consumers, retailers and banks need to know about the introduction of the new 50 euro note

The 50 euro is one of the most popular euro notes – not just among consumers, but also counterfeiters. In order to make life harder for criminals, the European Central Bank (ECB) is launching a new version of the orange-brown note with enhanced security features on 4 April 2017. Retailers and banks must have updated their certified testing systems before then so that they recognise the new banknotes and do not classify them as counterfeits.

Counterfeiting is highly lucrative for criminals.  In 2015, the Bundesbank – the German central bank - withdrew around 95,000 counterfeit euro banknotes with a nominal value of €4.4 million from circulation – the highest figure since the euro was introduced in 2002. In purely mathematical terms, this amounts to twelve counterfeit banknotes per 10,000 inhabitants. Almost every second counterfeit note was a 50 euro banknote. In 2015, the Bundesbank registered around 46,600 fake fifties in total.

This comes as no surprise – after all, the 50 euro note is the most frequently used banknote. There are more than 8 billion 50 euro notes in circulation – that's around 45 percent of all banknotes. Now, as well as getting a new design, the most popular banknote is to become more forgery-proof.

New security features make counterfeiting harder

The 50 euro note is the fourth banknote of the new Europa series that the ECB is bringing into circulation, following the 5 euro, 10 euro and 20 euro notes. The 100 euro and 200 euro denominations are expected to follow in 2018.

The new security features are intended to make counterfeiting much harder. Like the 20 euro note, the new fifty will have a portrait window near the top of the hologram. If you hold the note towards the light, the window becomes transparent and reveals a portrait of Europa that can be seen on both sides. This portrait is also visible in the watermark. The shiny emerald number can be found on the front of the note. If you tilt the banknote, this changes colour from emerald green to deep blue and a bar of light on the number moves up and down. There is also tangible raised print on the left and right edges of the front of the banknote, on the main image and on the large value numeral.

The authenticity of the new banknotes can be checked on first glance using the "feel-look-tilt" principle. Certified test equipment, such as that used in cash machines and cash recycling systems in the retail sector, provides greater certainty when identifying counterfeit money.

Glory is supporting banks and retailers in the switchover

The new fifty will go into circulation from 4 April 2017 onwards. Before then, banks and retailers will need to have invested time, equipment and employees in preparing for the new banknote. As the Europa series banknotes boast enhanced or new security features, all systems that authenticate banknotes will need to be upgraded.

Glory is working closely with the ECB to prepare for the introduction of the latest Europa series note. This is the only way that the appropriate upgrades for the certified testing systems can be developed and made available in time. Glory supports its customers with relevant services and ensures a smooth transition from the old to the new banknotes. Banks, for example, can use solutions such as CashInsight BridgeTM to distribute the necessary upgrades to the systems within the branch network quickly and easily. The devices can thus recognise fake banknotes reliably and sort them automatically, even after the switch to the new 50 euro note.

More security for consumers

For the consumer, this means that the safest way to withdraw money is to use a cash machine or obtain it directly from the bank. This is because banks check the authenticity of all banknotes with certified devices. Counterfeits don't stand a chance. However, this is often not the case at the conventional checkout in the retail sector. Normally, only banknotes with high values are checked here – and often only with the help of UV light. As a result, shops can become easy targets for using counterfeit money, to the detriment of both owners and customers. This does not have to be the case, as modern verification procedures for detecting suspicious or counterfeit banknotes with a proven track record in banks and financial institutions are also suitable for use at points of sale in supermarkets.

Automated cash management solutions such as CASHINFINITY™ check the authenticity of the cash paid by the customer. This uses high-resolution contact image sensors and multiple image technology which scans and checks the note fully on both sides. In the event of a suspected counterfeit, the system automatically rejects the note. Retailers and customers are therefore protected from attempted fraud

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