Eesti Pank issued 194 million euros of cash in the first quarter of the year

Autori Kristjan Lember pilt

Kristjan Lember

cash analyst



In the first quarter of the year Eesti Pank issued 5.5 million banknotes into circulation with a total value of 193 million euros. The banknote issued most commonly was the 50-euro note, which accounted for 55% of the banknotes issued. The total value issued in banknotes was 19% less than in the fourth quarter of last year.

There were 5.6 million banknotes with a total value of 207 million euros returned to Eesti Pank in the first quarter. The banknote returned most commonly was the 50-euro note, which accounted for 43% of all the banknotes returned. The total value of banknotes returned was 11% less than in the fourth quarter of last year. The sorting process saw the destruction of 1 million banknotes that were unfit for circulation, and the rest were returned to circulation.

Eesti Pank issued 2 million coins with a total value of 0.9 million euros into circulation in the first quarter of the year. The coins issued most were one-cent coins, which made up 22% of all the coins issued.

The commercial banks returned 4.5 million circulation coins with a total value of 1.6 million euros to Eesti Pank in the first quarter. The number of coins returned was much higher than the historical quarterly average and was not far off the number returned in the previous quarter when the coin exchange service was started jointly by Eesti Pank and Omniva at the post offices at Järve in Tallinn and Kvartali in Tartu. Coins can be exchanged at those two Omniva post offices until at least the summer. SEB Pank also ran a coin return campaign in March, where for two weeks people could take their coins to the SEB offices at Tornimäe in Tallinn and in Tartu and pay them onto their account at no charge. Providing additional opportunities for coin exchange supports the recirculation of coins and benefits the environment as there is less need to produce new coins. The coins returned most were two-cent coins, which made up 20% of all the coins returned.

The Riigikogu is in the process of passing a law setting rounding rules for one and two-cent euro coins in order to reduce the use of them. The rounding rules would mean that the final price of a basket of shopping would be rounded to the nearest five cents at the till, though only if the buyer is paying in cash. Read more about the planned rounding rules on the Eesti Pank website.

Cash was withdrawn from ATMs on 5.2 million occasions in the first quarter of 2024, for a total value of around 836 million euros. There were 5.5% fewer withdrawals of cash than in the same period of the previous year. Cash deposits of 471 million euros were made in the first quarter, which was the same level as a year earlier.

There were 669 ATMs in Estonia in the first quarter, of which 257 accept cash depositing. Alongside the ATMs, cash transactions can also be made in 20 bank offices.

There are some 800 shop tills across Estonia from which cooperation between the banks and points of sale allows cash to be withdrawn. See also Where else can I withdraw cash?

Coins can be paid into bank accounts using coin machines at 10 locations across Estonia. Coins can be exchanged in the Tallinn Järve and Tartu Kvartali post offices operated by Omniva.

Exchanging Estonian kroons for cash

Eesti Pank continues to exchange Estonian kroons in notes and coins for euros. There were 186 exchange transactions with kroons in the first quarter of this year at a value of 16,420 euros. There are still an estimated 28.4 million kroon banknotes, worth 37 million euros, and 319.5 million coins, worth 6.7 million euros, that have not been returned from circulation, making a total value of 43.7 million euros. Interest in exchanging kroons for euros has been low in recent years.

Eesti Pank expert analysis of cash

Eesti Pank exchanges damaged euro banknotes and coins. Expert analysis of cash was carried out 70 times in the first quarter as 3058 banknotes were examined for authenticity and were classed as damaged notes where appropriate. Banknotes are exchanged when more than half of them remains. Damaged banknotes are removed from circulation and are destroyed.

The Estonian Forensic Science Institute registered 494 counterfeit euro banknotes in Estonia in the first quarter, the majority of which were 20 and 50-euro notes. The counterfeits registered included some locally-made counterfeits, the distributor of which was arrested in Tallinn at the start of the year, alongside counterfeits from elsewhere in Europe. The Estonian police work closely with other countries to stop the spread of counterfeit money and arrest the criminals responsible quickly. All businesses, and indeed all people, that use cash should be careful and attentive with all banknotes. It is also wise to be careful when paying in cash while travelling. There were also 45 counterfeit coins discovered in the first quarter.

  • Estonian kroon banknotes and coins can be exchanged for euros at the shop of the Eesti Pank Museum during its opening hours from Tuesdays to Fridays 12.00-17.00 and Saturdays 11.00-16.00, tel 668 0650.
  • Damaged banknotes can be submitted for expert analysis by contacting the Eesti Pank museum shop.

Additional information:
Hanna Jürgenson
Eesti Pank
Communications Specialist
Tel: 56920 930
Press enquiries: [email protected]