Eesti Pank issued 325 million euros of cash in the third quarter of 2020
The central bank issued more than 323 million euros of banknotes into circulation in the third quarter of 2020 and 2.2 million euros of coins, while 249 million euros of banknotes were returned.
The net issuance of banknotes by Eesti Pank for the quarter as a whole was 23% less numerically than in the previous quarter, which partly reflects the impact of the measures introduced to restrict the spread of Covid-19. Demand was largest for 50-euro banknotes, which made up some 46.7% of all the banknotes issued.
Demand for cash has remained stable despite the impact of the coronavirus. A survey by the European Central Bank found that the payment habits of 67% of people have remained the same as they were before the outbreak of the virus.
The network of ATMs has not particularly changed in recent years. There are 737 ATMs in Estonia, of which 207 accept cash depositing. Cash can be exchanged in 29 bank offices. Cash was withdrawn from ATMs on 7.4 million occasions in the third quarter of 2020, for a total value of more than 953 million euros. This represents 21.5% more withdrawals than in the first quarter and 14.6% more in value. Cash was deposited in ATMs on 1.4 million occasions in the third quarter for a total value of 497 million euros.
The survey of payment behaviour carried out at the end of 2019 found that access to cash has improved in the past two years. Cash withdrawals from shop tills and from bank offices are both used by 4% of residents of Estonia. Cash was withdrawn from shop tills on some 44,000 occasions in the third quarter of 2020 with a total value of around 2 million euros.
Circulation of euro coins
Eesti Pank issues coins into circulation in response to demand. In the third quarter of 2020, 6.7 million coins with a value of 2.2 million euros were issued, and 621,000 coins with a value of 528,000 euros were returned to the central bank. Of the coins issued in the third quarter, 44% were one and two-cent coins.
Exchanging Estonian kroons for cash
Eesti Pank continues to exchange Estonian kroons in notes and coins for euros. There were 204 exchange transactions in the third quarter of 2020, and some 57,000 euros of kroons were exchanged. There are still 28.5 million kroon banknotes and 320 million coins that have not been returned from circulation, with a total value of 44.5 million euros. Some part of the kroons cash that was in circulation has been permanently lost over the years or has been destroyed, but the facility for exchanging kroons for euros remains open.
Expert cash analysis at Eesti Pank
Eesti Pank exchanges damaged euro banknotes and coins. Expert analysis was carried out 52 times in the third quarter as 1034 banknotes were examined for authenticity and were classed as damaged notes. Banknotes are exchanged when more than 50% of them remains. Damaged banknotes are removed from circulation and are destroyed. The Estonian Forensic Science Institute registered 104 counterfeit euro banknotes in Estonia in the third quarter of 2020, the majority of which were 10 and 50-euro notes. There were also 15 counterfeit coins discovered in the quarter. The number of counterfeits discovered in Estonia is negligible both in absolute terms and in relation to the number of genuine notes and coins issued into circulation.