Banknote authentication devices

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 security features of the euro banknotes.

These banknote authentication devices process banknotes one by one or in batches and classify them as genuine or suspect without user intervention, but do not physically separate them automatically. You can find the list of tested banknote authentication devices in the section “You may also like…);

Each device is tested by a national central bank, 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.

Retailers and other users owning authentication devices are advised to take the steps necessary to adapt them to the different euro banknote series well in advance of their issuance dates, contacting the suppliers of the devices as necessary.

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 with a wide range of representative counterfeit euro banknotes.

Application procedure for testing a type of banknote authentication device at the Banco de EspañaOpens in new window

The European Central Bank publishes information on the devices tested in order to help banknote users to choose from the devices available. For more information, click on You may also like…

Authentication devices excluded from the test procedure

Banknote authentication devices that require the user to determine whether a banknote is genuine or not (i.e. verification aids such as UV lamps) are excluded from the test.

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