PRESS RELEASE

ECB unveils new €50 banknote

5 July 2016

EMBARGO

Transmission embargo until 14:15 CET on Tuesday, 5 July 2016
  • New €50 banknote will start circulating on 4 April 2017
  • €50 is the most widely used euro banknote
  • New secure banknotes underline Eurosystem’s commitment to cash

The European Central Bank (ECB) today unveiled the new €50 banknote, which will enter into circulation on 4 April 2017. The introduction of the new note marks the latest step in making euro banknotes even more secure. After the €5, €10 and €20, the €50 is the fourth denomination in the second series of euro banknotes, known as the Europa series.

“The introduction of the new €50 will make our currency even safer”, Yves Mersch, ECB Executive Board member, said. “Its state-of-the-art security features help protect our money. It is part of our continued efforts to preserve the euro as a stable currency, a currency that 338 million people across the euro area rely on day by day. The gradual launch of the new euro banknotes with new and enhanced features also underlines the Eurosystem’s commitment to cash as a trusted and efficient means of payment.”

The €50 is the most widely used euro banknote, accounting for 45% of all banknotes in circulation. There are more €50 banknotes in circulation than the €5, €10 and €20 together. The number of €50 banknotes in circulation is also nearly the same as the total number of all denominations in circulation at the end of 2002, the year when euro banknotes and coins started to circulate.

The new €50 banknote includes a portrait window – a new and innovative feature first used on the Europa series €20. When the banknote is held up to the light, a transparent window near the top of the hologram reveals a portrait of Europa, a figure from Greek mythology, which is visible on both sides of the note. The same portrait also appears in the watermark. The front of the banknote features an “emerald number”, a shiny number that, when tilted, changes colour from emerald green to deep blue and displays an effect of the light that moves up and down. These security features make it easy to check the new €50 for authenticity, using the “feel, look and tilt” method.

To help ensure that banknote handling machines and authentication devices throughout the euro area are ready in time for the new €50 banknote, the Eurosystem has launched a partnership programme. It involves more than 500 industrial partners across Europe and provides a wide range of educational tools and other resources related to the new banknote. More than 50 industrial partners also signed a memorandum of understanding on the adaptation of banknote equipment to the new €50 banknote on 15 June 2016 to underline their commitment to ensuring a smooth introduction of the new banknote.

For media queries, please contact Eva Taylor, tel.: +49 69 1344 7162.

Media contacts