Banknotes and coins

Authentication devices

In order to support manufacturers of counterfeit detection devices in their endeavours to develop and enhance their products, the national central banks (NCBs) of the Eurosystem offer manufacturers of counterfeit detection devices, or their appointed agents, the possibility of testing such devices using a wide range of representative counterfeit euro banknotes. The European Central Bank publishes information on the devices tested in order to help banknote users to choose from the devices available.

Counterfeit detection devices may help retailers and other users of euro banknotes in detecting counterfeits, but they cannot entirely replace the user's own considered opinion based on the banknotes' security features (see information on the security features of the euro banknotesOpens in a new window).

Each device is tested by an NCB, in accordance with a common Eurosystem procedure, to check its ability to:

  • correctly detect counterfeit euro banknotes contained in a test deck of counterfeit banknotes (the “counterfeit test”);
  • correctly identify genuine euro banknotes contained in a test deck of genuine banknotes (the “recognition test”).

The purpose of the tests is not to determine whether a device is user-friendly, safe, durable, easily serviceable, etc.

Evaluation tests

Manufacturers or authorised agents (in the event that the manufacturer does not have a European Union representative) that wish to request testing must follow the steps indicated in the link below:

Application procedure for testing a type of banknote handling machine or type of banknote authentication device at the Bank of SpainOpens in a new window

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