PRESS RELEASE

New €20 banknote unveiled in Frankfurt today

24 February 2015

EMBARGO

Transmission embargo until 3 p.m. CET on Tuesday, 24 February 2015
  • The new €20 banknote’s “portrait window”, set in the hologram, is an innovation in banknote technology.
  • The new €20 banknote will enter circulation on 25 November 2015, allowing an extended period of nine months for banknote equipment manufacturers, cash handlers and other affected parties to prepare for the new note.
  • Euro banknotes are now shared by 338 million people in 19 countries and have a combined face value of €1,000 billion.

The ECB’s President Mario Draghi unveiled the new €20 banknote today at the ECB’s headquarters in Frankfurt and announced that it would enter into circulation on 25 November 2015. The new note includes an innovative security feature in the form of a “portrait window” set in the hologram. When the banknote is held against the light, the window becomes transparent and reveals a portrait of the mythological figure Europa, visible on both sides of the note. The new €20 banknote, like the new €5 and €10 notes, also includes an “emerald number” and a portrait of Europa in the watermark.

President Draghi said: “The portrait window is a real innovation in banknote technology. It is the outcome of the Eurosystem’s work to ensure that the euro notes continue to be resilient against counterfeiting. This will reinforce the trust that the 338 million citizens across the euro area place in their banknotes.”

The new €20 note is the third in the Europa series that is gradually replacing the original series of euro banknotes introduced in 2002. The Europa series €5 banknote was issued in May 2013, and the €10 note in September 2014. The €20 banknote unveiled today will be followed, over time, by new versions of the €50, €100, €200 and €500 notes.

The €20 note is one of the most widely used of all the euro banknote denominations. It is widely distributed via ATMs, it is accepted by many vending and ticketing machines, and it is often checked for authenticity by retailers using small devices at their counters.

To help banknote equipment manufacturers and other parties to prepare for the introduction of the new €20 banknotes ahead of the launch, the ECB and the national central banks of the Eurosystem have provided information and made the new notes available in advance for testing and adaptation. A Partnership Programme – similar to that put in place for the new €10 in 2013, with more than 300 partners across Europe – will provide additional communication to help manufacturers ensure that banknote handling machines and authentication devices throughout the euro area are ready in time for the 25 November 2015 launch.

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