Businesses need to be ready for the new 20-euro banknotes in one week’s time

On 25 November Eesti Pank and the other central banks of the euro area will release a new twenty-euro banknote into circulation with a new design and security features. Companies need to be sure that they are technically ready so that the new notes can enter circulation smoothly.

“From 25 November the twenty-euro notes with their new security features and updated design become legal tender that must be accepted by all merchants and sales equipment. If equipment and devices have not been updated yet, then now is really the last chance. To do this, traders should contact the supplier of their equipment”, said Rait Roosve, Head of the Cash and Infrastructure Department at Eesti Pank.

“It is not allowed for anyone to refuse to accept the new note because they do not have an authentication device or because their device is not working, as merchants can check the authenticity of the new twenty-euro notes by looking at and feeling the security features on the notes”, he added.

The most eye-catching change to the twenty-euro notes of the new series is a completely new security feature, a transparent portrait window on the right of the note on the hologrammic strip. Looking at the note against the light reveals a portrait of Europa in the window. The other security features – the watermark portrait of Europa and the hologrammic strip, the emerald green number, and the short raised lines on the edge of the note – are like those on the five and ten-euro notes of the new series.

Five, ten and twenty-euro banknotes of the first series will continue to be valid for payment, and there is no limit on when they can be exchanged at the central bank. They will gradually be withdrawn from circulation and eventually they will cease to be legal tender. An announcement about this will be made well in advance.

See more about the new twenty-euro note

Eesti Pank organised free training for cash handlers across Estonia in October and November to demonstrate the security features of the new notes, and more than 150 people from companies and banks took part.

In October the European Central Bank sent out a brochure on on the security features of the new twenty-euro banknote by direct mail to companies operating in Estonia. The brochure was sent to around 8000 companies.

The publications intended for cash handlers have been distributed by Eesti Pank through its partners and to anyone who has contacted the bank to ask for them. Free copies can still be ordered from Eesti Pank (info [at] eestipank.ee).

How can the security features of the banknote be checked?

Look. Against the light, a watermark of a portrait becomes visible on the left-hand side underneath the signature of Mario Draghi and the flag of the European Union. Looking at the note against the light reveals a portrait of Europa in the window, which can be seen from both sides of the note.

Feel. The new twenty-euro note has raised lines along the right and left edges that can be felt with a finger and it is made of strong, crisp paper.

Tilt. There is an emerald-green number printed on the lower left side of the note, which changes colour from green to dark blue when the note is tilted. When the banknote is tilted, the hologrammic strip will reveal the portrait of Europa, the number 20, the euro symbol, and a design of a doorway or a window.

Upgrading cash-handling equipment

If companies have problems with their cash authentication devices, then cashiers and client service staff are recommended to check first using the feel, look and tilt method, which ensures that clients can complete their purchases in the shop. To test the operability of the cash authentication devices and to fix any possible technical problems, companies should contact the suppliers of their devices, who are responsible for their operability.

The European Central Bank has published a list of devices that can authenticate banknotes of the new series on its website and has added a list of those that can authenticate the €20 note.


For further information:
Ingrid Mitt
Public Relations Office
Tel: +372 668 0965, +372 512 6843
Email:press [at] eestipank.ee