The challenge of a new banknote series

More than 10 years after the introduction of the euro currency, a new series of banknotes was recently launched, called "Europa", with improved characteristics and security features. The renewal of a banknote series is a major technological and operational challenge, not just for the Banque de France, but also for industry professionals who have to adapt their existing equipment.

The challenge of a new series

More than 10 years after the introduction of euro banknotes and coins in 2002, the Eurosystem launched a second series of euro banknotes, the “Europa” series.


Why a new Europa series?

Utilised around the world, euro banknotes are the currency of 19 countries and 338 million Europeans, and a powerful symbol of European integration. To maintain the public's confidence in the currency, it is important to continuously update and improve it, integrating the most recent technological advances in graphic and security features, to provide protection from counterfeiting.
Additionally, the protective coating applied to the small denominations in the Europa series has made them more resistant to wear and tear. These banknotes will need to be replaced less often, reducing both costs and the impact on the environment.

The portrait on the new-series banknotes represents the princess Europa, the character from Greek mythology from whom our continent is named. Her picture is taken from a vase that is more than 2,000 years old, discovered in southern Italy and on display at the Louvre in Paris.


A gradual roll-out

The Europa series banknotes are being introduced over a period of several years in ascending order. The new €5 note was put into circulation in May 2013, the €10 in September 2014, and the €20 on 25 November 2015. The new €50 note is scheduled for release on 4 April 2017 while the new €100 and €200 notes will be launched in 2019. The newly issued notes are put into circulation simultaneously in all euro area countries.

Comparison between the 2 series

These new banknotes are easy to tell apart from their predecessors, while still preserving the graphic motif and main colours of the first series.

The phases preceding entry into circulation

The Banque de France implements a variety of awareness initiatives for professionals around the new banknotes.

It trains thousands of professionals in authenticating the new notes, conducts surveys among the various players and regularly brings together ATM manufacturers, banks, cash carriers and retail representatives, to ensure that equipment is adapted to the new banknote before the launch date.

Professionals have nine months to test and roll out these adaptations, with the help of banknotes lent by the Banque de France.

The Banque de France verifies the distribution of the new notes across the entire French territory via its branch network.

The banknotes are then distributed to the public via bank ATMs.



The phases preceding entry into circulation

The new €50 note – key figures

Press releases and press kits


The new €20 note – key figures

The Banque de France played a crucial role in the manufacture of the new banknote and is the largest European issuer of euro notes: of the 4.3 billion €20 notes produced for the entire Eurosystem by four paper manufacturers and seven printers, 1.9 billion €20 notes were manufactured and supplied by France, 44% of the total Eurosystem requirement.

Over half of all banknotes withdrawn at ATMs in France are €20 notes, and this denomination is the most commonly used for payments. For this reason, it was important for all equipment delivering and accepting banknotes to be ready for the launch of the new denomination on November 25.

The Banque de France trained 26,000 professionals to authenticate the new €20 note in 2015.

One million information leaflets on the new €20 were made available to the public and professionals, including 300,000 sent directly to SMEs, tradespeople and retailers.


Press releases and press kits

Updated on: 06/07/2018 15:06