Introduction to the course

The course on “Knowledge of Banknotes” has been developed on the basis of the training programme and e-learning tool provided by Banco de Portugal, comprising the following modules:

  1. Characteristics of the banknotes
  2. Authenticity checking
  3. Fitness checking
  4. Damaged banknotes

The objective of the course is to complement the professional cash handlers’ training, in line with the decisions issued by the ECB.

Two evaluation stages have been defined in the course. The first involves questions to be answered at the end of each module. These questions, which are of a purely educational nature, aim to show the trainee the level of progress achieved. The second evaluation stage consists of questions at the end of course. The related answers are registered and count towards the trainee’s final evaluation. The trainee must obtain a score of 80% or above in order to complete the training programme successfully.

This course is easy to navigate, intuitive and self-explanatory. Each screen has a help tool enabling the trainees to clarify any doubts. The duration of the course, when studied on a continuous basis by the trainees, is estimated to be the same as that of the classroom training course, i.e. two hours on average.

Banknote recirculation by credit institutions and other cash handlers

The ECB and the national central banks (NCBs) of the Eurosystem are the issuing authorities for the euro banknotes and are tasked with maintaining public trust in the single currency. This is done, among other things, by ensuring the integrity of the euro banknotes in circulation.

The possibility of recirculating euro banknotes enables credit institutions and other cash handlers to perform their role in the currency supply chain in a more effective and cost-efficient manner. To ensure the integrity of the euro banknotes, on 16 September 2010 the Governing Council of the ECB adopted Decision ECB/2010/14 on the authenticity and fitness checking and recirculation of euro banknotes, which became applicable on 1 January 2011.

Decision ECB/2010/14 ensures that credit institutions and cash handlers only recirculate euro banknotes if they have been checked for both fitness and authenticity. These checks can be carried out either (i) by a type of banknote handling machine which has been tested by a Eurosystem NCB, or (ii) by trained staff. Banknotes that have successfully passed machine checks can be reissued via automated teller machines or other customer-operated machines. Banknotes which have been checked by trained staff can only be disbursed over the counter.

It is important to note that euro coins are not affected by Decision ECB/2010/14, as they do not fall within the ECB’s competence.

Further information on the ECB’s website:

Banknote recirculation by credit institutions and other cash handlers

Please feel free to send us your suggestions and/or opinions using the following contact details:

Internal and External Engagement Division

Directorate General Communications

Tel: +49 69 1344 1300
E-mail: [email protected]


Version 2 – november 2020
© 2019