The Bank of Finland is authorised by the European Central Bank (ECB) to put banknotes into circulation in Finland based on their demand. As a member of the Eurosystem, the Bank of Finland is also responsible for the maintenance of the currency supply, i.e. it ensures the authenticity and quality of the money in use in the country by removing counterfeit and damaged notes from circulation. To safeguard the efficiency of the currency supply system, the Bank of Finland ensures that there are adequate stocks of banknotes and coins to meet possible exceptional demand for cash.

The Bank of Finland cooperates with professional cash handlers and deposit banks. The objective is to provide a resilient currency supply system that is secure, cost-effective and fulfils the requirements of the Eurosystem.

The series of euro banknotes consists currently of seven different denominations of different sizes – the higher the value, the larger the banknote. The banknotes are uniform throughout the euro area.

Two series of banknotes

There are two series of euro banknotes. All the notes in both series are legal tender throughout the euro area.

Banknotes in the second series, or Europa series, were introduced gradually between 2013 and 2019. The Europa series consists of the same denominations as the first series except for the EUR 500 banknote, which was excluded from the second series. On 26 January 2019, issuance of the EUR 500 banknote of the first series was discontinued as well. The EUR 500 notes will remain legal tender throughout the euro area and need not be exchanged separately for banknotes of smaller denominations. Banks and cash distribution centres may recycle these banknotes to their customers.

The first series of euro banknotes was designed by Robert Kalina from the Austrian central bank (Österreichische Nationalbank), and the design depicts the architectural styles of different periods in Europe's cultural history. The second series is based on the same “ages and styles” theme as the first. The design of the new banknotes has, however, been slightly modified to accommodate the enhanced security features. It is easy to distinguish the new euro banknotes from those of the first series, but it is nevertheless easy to identify the different denominations.

ECB cooperation in banknote research and development with the private and public sectors 

To ensure the safety of banknotes, central banks must incorporate effective security features in the banknotes and remain technologically ahead of counterfeiters. To ensure this, ECB works to continuously improve the security features for use in both current and future euro banknotes.  Accordingly, the ECB manages, coordinates and funds a wide variety of research projects being conducted in the public and private sectors. The ECB seeks to foster and benefit from research and development in security features that can be applied to banknotes as well as in technology relating to the production, processing and handling of banknotes.

Visit the ECB’s website for more details on the possibilities for cooperation in the research and development of banknotes and instructions for submitting your own project proposals to the ECB.