Euro cash security

Updated: 10.05.2011

How to recognise counterfeit money?

Euro banknotes feature several security elements that render their reproduction extremely difficult. For the recognition of counterfeits you should examine as many known security features as possible. The best way is to compare a suspicious note with the one you are sure of. You should definitely be convinced that the source of the note is sufficiently reliable. For instance, you can always be sure that you withdraw genuine money from an ATM. In case of suspected counterfeit money, approach an office of a commercial bank for assistance.


How secure are euro banknotes?

Euro banknotes feature several high-technology security elements that render their reproduction extremely difficult. The security elements also enable people themselves to verify the authenticity of banknotes.


What has been done to provide visually impaired people with an opportunity to distinguish between different euro notes?

During the initial design phase of euro cash continuous consultations were held with the European Blind Union. All seven banknotes differ in size, making it easier to recognise them by touch. The notes also entail security features that can be felt by touch. Banknotes can also be distinguished by the reliefs that are located in different places and variable thickness of different parts of the notes. For the benefit of people with partial visual impairment, each banknote is of different colour (e.g., the 20 euro banknote is blue) and the numbers are large and prominent.


In case you suspect that you have a counterfeit banknote in your possession, you should contact the police of a branch of a commercial bank and they will refer the cash to further assessment.

See also the security features of euro coins and banknotes in ECB webpage.