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Overview

French banks are ready for the new 50 euro banknote

On 4 April 2017, the Banque de France will start issuing the new 50 euro banknote across France.

Making a new banknote available to customers is a major logistical operation for French banks. Over 58,000 cash machines across the country need to be adapted, along with automatic deposit machines and the back office equipment that verifies the quality of banknotes deposited by retailers or individuals.

For this reason, banks were involved in the process from a very early stage alongside other stakeholders (Banque de France, retailers, cash-in-transit companies, machine manufacturers, etc.). Each change made to a banknote incurs considerable costs. French banks have made the investments required, and will be ready to distribute the new banknotes to the public on schedule.

Around 10 billion notes will be produced for the new issue. The €50 note is the most common banknote in circulation in the euro zone, accounting for 45.1% of all bank notes. This does not apply in France, however, where the €50 note is less widely used (14%), taking third place after the €20 and €5 notes, though its use is increasing. Existing notes will gradually be withdrawn from circulation before finally ceasing to have legal tender at a date that will be announced well in advance.

The €50 note is the fourth banknote in the new “Europe” series, following the new €5 note issued in 2013, the €10 note in 2014 and the €20 note in 2015. It benefits from the technological progress made in printing banknotes since the introduction of the euro. Bank notes are increasingly secure thanks to high-performance integrated security features that offer enhanced protection against forgery.

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