The new €20 banknote is even more secure

The European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central banks began issuing the €20 banknotes of the Europa series on 25 November 2015. The €20 banknote is now the third note belonging to the second series of euro banknotes that the Eurosystem has gradually been introducing since May 2013. The new €5 and €10 banknotes of this series are already in circulation, too.

Carl-Ludwig Thiele presents the new €20 banknote ©Boris Roessler / dpa
The introduction of the new €20 banknote should enable even greater protection against the counterfeiting of euro cash. This will be made possible owing primarily to a new security feature. The banknote's hologram stripe contains a transparent window featuring a portrait of the mythological figure Europa. Executive Board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele is confident that the new €20 note will offer greater protection against counterfeiting: "With the new €20 banknote, the Eurosystem has reached a milestone in terms of banknote technology. The transparent window cannot be portrayed on a counterfeit banknote; people can identify this feature very easily."

4.3 billion €20 banknotes

Alongside the Bundesbank, the central banks of Austria, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain have, together, produced a total of around 4.3 billion €20 banknotes on behalf of the entire Eurosystem. The Eurosystem is the world's first central banking system to use the technology behind the innovative portrait window to produce a volume of banknotes on this scale.

The Bundesbank expects the launch of the €20 banknote to go smoothly, not least because enterprises such as machine operators have had nine months to make the necessary adjustments. Banks and retailers have also had enough time to train their staff and prepare their machines and devices to deal with the new banknotes. In addition, the Bundesbank has been informing the general public about the new €20 banknote over the last few months via leaflets, flyers, information events and press conferences.

Old euro banknotes will retain their value

Together with the national central banks, the ECB will gradually bring the other denominations of the Europa series into circulation over the next few years. Following each issue date, consumers will gradually obtain the new banknotes from credit institutions, via cash machines and over the counter. At the same time, the new banknotes will be brought into circulation via retailers, where they will be paid out as change. Banknotes from the first and second series will circulate in parallel for a time.

The date on which the banknotes of the first series will lose their status as legal tender will be announced in good time by the Eurosystem national central banks. They will, however, retain their value after that and can be exchanged at face value at the national central banks for an unlimited period of time. The Eurosystem will announce the issue dates of the remaining denominations of the Europa series in good time. The new banknotes will be issued in all 19 countries that have adopted the euro as their legal tender.