Banknotes and coins

Manual fitness checking and control of banknotes

Manual fitness checking of banknotes

In accordance with European Central Bank Decision of 16 September 2010 (ECB/2010/14) on checking the authenticity and fitness of euro banknotes and their recirculation, amended by European Central Bank Decision of 7 September 2012 (ECB/2012/19), employees of credit entities, duly trained for this purpose, can manually select banknotes according to their physical condition in the following cases:

  • In all branches, for banknotes that are to be handed to the public over the counter.
  • In branches considered as remote, in accordance with the definition contained in point 2 of Clause VII of the general conditions applicable to the ordinary cash service of the Banco de España for euro banknotes, for banknotes that are to be loaded into ATMs and other customer-operated devices.

In order to assist credit institutions with correct manual fitness checking, the Banco de España has prepared a document called "Instructions for manual fitness checking of euro banknotes for circulation", which is complemented by a sheet of acetate for detecting the degree of soiling of banknotes. Both can be requested by post or e-mail from the Cash and Issue Department.

Manual checks on the authenticity of banknotes

In accordance with Decision ECB/2010/14, legitimacy of banknotes can be checked manually by credit entity employees provided:

  • the employees are duly trained for this purpose.
  • The banknotes are to be handed to the public in over-the-counter transactions.

Whilst it is not mandatory, the Banco de España recommends the use of banknote authentication equipment, duly tested in a national central bank belonging to the Eurosystem.

To provide credit institutions with training and the correct manual checking of the authenticity of banknotes by employees, the Banco de España offers training and makes various guides available.

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