The European Central Bank announced today (4th April) that the new €50 banknote in the current “Europa” series has been officially released for circulation. The new banknote was unveiled at the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) on the 5th July 2016, when ECB executive member Yves Mersch introduced the note’s new security features and amended design. The current “Europa” series was first introduced in 2014 with the re-design of the €5 banknote. According to the ECB, the re-designed series includes “the countries that have joined the EU since 2002. For instance, the map of Europe shows Malta and Cyprus, “euro” is written in Cyrillic in addition to the Latin and Greek alphabets, and the initials of the ECB appear in ten—instead of five—linguistic variants.”
The new ECB notes’ integrated, revised security features include a portrait window depicting an image of Europa on both sides of the note; the window becomes transparent when held against a light. A hologram strip contains images of the number 50, another image of Europa, and the primary architectural design of the €50 note. Additional, enhanced security features also include a printed “emerald” number, which displays an effect of the light moving up and down when the note is tilted. Raised print assists the visually impaired.
The overall design and theme of the original notes remains, those bring architecture and bridges throughout the ages.
An ECB survey shows cash is still favoured for most payments at points of sale. “Even in this digital age, cash remains essential in our economy,” said Mario Draghi, president of the ECB. A soon-to-be-published survey on cash use, carried out on behalf of the ECB, shows that over three-quarters of all payments at points of sale in the euro area are made in cash. In terms of transaction values, that’s slightly more than half. The full survey results will be made available in summer 2017.
The €50 is the most widely used euro-banknote denomination. With over 9 billion of them in circulation, they account for 46% of all euro banknotes. The €50 banknotes of the first series will remain legal tender and continue to circulate alongside the new notes. The first-series €50 note will be gradually withdrawn from circulation but is always redeemable at the offices of central and national banks and commercial banks within the eurozone, presently without time limit.
The European Central Bank have announced that new €100 and €200 “Europa” series banknotes will be issued at the beginning of 2019.
Please visit the website of the European Central Bank for more information on the new banknote and current coins issued within the eurozone. ❑