Procedures for testing banknote handling machine types
On 16 September 2010 the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) adopted Decision ECB/2010/14 on the authenticity and fitness checking and recirculation of euro banknotes1. Decision ECB/2010/14 has been amended to extend its scope to the authenticity and fitness checking and recirculation of new series of euro banknotes. According to this Decision, euro banknotes may only be recirculated if they have been checked for authenticity and fitness. Euro banknotes recirculated via customer-operated machines or cash dispensers must be checked for authenticity and fitness by a type of banknote handling machine that has been successfully tested by a Eurosystem national central bank (NCB).
Classification of machines
The banknote handling machines to be tested can be classified as:
1. customer-operated machines, including:
- Cash recycling machines (CRMs), i.e. machines which accept euro banknotes and check their authenticity and fitness, and dispense euro banknotes deposited by other customers in previous transactions;
- combined cash-in machines (CCMs), i.e. machines which accept euro banknotes and check their authenticity, and dispense euro banknotes loaded separately into them but do not recycle euro banknotes deposited by other customers in previous transactions;
- cash-in machines (CIMs), i.e. machines which accept euro banknotes and check their authenticity, but do not dispense euro banknotes to customers;
- cash-out-machines (COMs), i.e. other machines which check the authenticity and fitness of euro banknotes before dispensing them to customers;
2. staff-operated machines, including:
- banknote processing machines (BPMs), i.e. machines which check the authenticity and fitness of euro banknotes;
- banknote authentication machines (BAMs), i.e. machines which only check the authenticity of euro banknotes;
- teller assistant recycling machines (TARMs), i.e. machines operated by cash handlers which store euro banknotes, allow cash handlers to credit or debit customers’ accounts and check the authenticity and fitness of euro banknotes;
- teller assistant machines (TAMs), i.e. machines operated by cash handlers which store euro banknotes, allow cash handlers to credit or debit customers’ accounts and check the authenticity of euro banknotes.
To be eligible for testing, a type of banknote handling machine must allow the processing of euro banknotes, as well as the classification and treatment of euro banknotes in accordance with Annexes IIa and IIb to Decision ECB/2010/14 without the intervention of the machine operator.
Not covered here: authentication devices
The following banknote handling equipment is not covered by this test procedure:
- banknote authentication devices which process single banknotes or batches of banknotes and, without the intervention of the user, classify banknotes as genuine or suspect, but do not automatically physically separate the suspect banknotes from the genuine ones (see list of tested banknote authentication devices)
- banknote authentication devices that require the user to decide whether a banknote is genuine or not (i.e. verification aids).
How to apply for the test
Manufacturers must contact an NCB to apply for testing2 (see the NCB contact list)
1 OJ L 267, 9.10.2010, p. 1.
2 If a type of banknote handling machine is deleted from the ECB’s website because a manufacturer refuses to conduct an annual test, cash handlers using the same type may request an NCB to conduct a bilateral test.
The test procedures
The Eurosystem has established common test procedures for various types of banknote handling machine. These tests check the ability of a type of banknote handling machine to authenticate genuine euro banknotes and to separate genuine euro banknotes from counterfeits (the “counterfeit detection test”) and, if applicable, to sort euro banknotes according to their fitness for circulation (the “fitness detection test”). In addition, for customer-operated machines, the proper functioning of the tracing system is verified (the “tracing system test”).
The tests are conducted with collections of genuine and counterfeit euro banknotes as set out below. As new counterfeits exhibiting properties differing from those of the euro banknotes used in the tests may emerge at any time, it is stressed that the test results published on this webpage merely reflect the relevant type of banknote handling machine’s capacity to detect the counterfeits contained in the test deck used for testing on the day tests are carried out.
Consequently, the Eurosystem urges manufacturers to follow developments in the field of counterfeiting and regularly update their machines where necessary to help to ensure that newly occurring counterfeits can also be reliably detected. In addition to the initial tests checking the capacity of different types of banknote handling machine to classify and treat euro banknotes as laid down in Decision ECB/2010/14 (i.e. verification tests), the common test procedures provide for regular annual testing of the various types of banknote handling machine (i.e. annual tests) as well as additional ad hoc retesting upon invitation (i.e. retests). Moreover, under the common test procedures, any update of a type of banknote handling machine which has an impact on its core functionalities necessitates its retesting. All tests follow the same procedures and are carried out with the machine’s manufacturers. Only those types of banknote handling machine that have passed a test are listed on the webpage.
For each type of banknote handling machine tested, one or more additional machine(s) of the same type may also be listed (“additional machines”). Although these have not been tested by a Eurosystem NCB, they are listed on the webpage on the basis of a written guarantee provided by the manufacturer indicating that they have the same hardware and software, and thus the same core functionalities, as defined in Decision ECB/2010/14, as the tested type of banknote handling machine. Such additional machines are listed together with the tested type of banknote handling machine.
Counterfeit detection test
The counterfeit detection test is conducted with a standardised test deck, which is composed of genuine euro banknotes, representative counterfeits found in circulation and additional documents that have been manufactured by the Eurosystem to reproduce and include certain properties of euro banknotes.
Additionally, individual NCBs may use representative national counterfeits to take into account the very latest developments in counterfeiting. The common test procedures and the regular updating of the test deck ensure that the use of recently discovered local counterfeits does not lead to a divergence in standards across national tests.
Sample counterfeits mixed with euro banknotes are tested for all denominations, series, feeding orientations and options supported by the respective type of machine.
Banknote handling machines pass the test if: (a) none of the counterfeits or additional documents specified by the Eurosystem are classified as genuine euro banknotes (category 4a or 4b of Annex IIa or IIb to Decision ECB/2010/14); (b) at least 90% of the tested euro banknotes are classified as fit euro banknotes; and (c) all euro banknotes of those denominations and/or series not supported by the machine or fed into the machine in orientations not supported by it are rejected by the machine. In addition, the test is successful if, for customer-operated machines, no more than 1% of the euro banknotes are not sorted as genuine euro banknotes (categories 4a or 4b) and for customer-operated machines with customer tracing, at least 90% of the counterfeits1 and some additional documents as specified by the Eurosystem are classified in category 2 or 3 (Table 1) of Annex IIa to Decision ECB/2010/14.
The Eurosystem updates the test deck approximately every two months, to ensure that tests are carried out with counterfeits recently found in circulation.
Fitness detection test
The fitness detection test is conducted using a set of genuine euro banknotes with defects similar to those caused by daily use. Those euro banknotes are fed into the euro banknote handling machine in all feeding orientations supported by it. The test is passed if no more than 5% of the unfit euro banknotes are classified in category 4a of Annexes IIa or IIb to Decision ECB/2010/14.
Tracing system test
The tracing system test, which is conducted only for customer-operated machines, is passed if the banknote handling machine stores data on the account holder for all euro banknotes classified in categories 2 and 3 (Table 1) of Annex IIa to Decision ECB/2010/14 and reliably links all these euro banknotes to the data on the relevant account holder.
Publication of test results of successfully tested types of banknote handling machine
Only those types of banknote handling machine that have passed a test at an NCB are listed. See the list of successfully tested machines.
1 The artificially-created documents are not taken into account for the retention rate.