The current figure

Since 2017, the Bundesbank has been upgrading its BPS 1120 cash processing machines to the new BPS M7 model. While the old model worked at a speed of 22 banknotes per second, the M7 can process 33 per second. The new machine can count, check and sort a total of 563,000 banknotes per day, compared with only 450,000 for the old model. The Bundesbank plans to upgrade all of its 1120 machines to the M7 model by the end of 2023.

How do banknotes arrive at the Bundesbank?

At the end of every working day, businesses pay in their takings at the commercial banks. The commercial banks, in turn, forward any surplus cash stocks to the Bundesbank’s branches. There, cash processing machines check the notes for authenticity and quality – i.e. their state of wear and tear. Damaged or unfit notes are removed from circulation and destroyed. The Bundesbank reports any suspicious banknotes to the police and sends them on to the cash analysis centre in Mainz for detailed checks.

Banknotes used as a means of payment in Germany are checked by the Bundesbank’s cash processing machines an average of twelve times. This means that 15 billion banknotes are checked each year for authenticity and quality.