A number of security features have been incorporated into banknotes to enable people to recognise genuine banknotes. Verification of banknote authenticity does not require any particular techniques, and after euro banknotes have become familiar, the checking only takes a few seconds.

It is easy to check the security features, using three simple tests: feel the banknote, tilt it and look at it against the light. 

Security features

Check the banknote for the following features:

  • raised print (textured feel)
  • watermark (Europa series: portrait watermark)
  • security thread
  • hologram (Europa series: portrait hologram)
  • see-through number (only first series)
  • special printing ink (Europa series: emerald number)

Always check several features, not only one. If you have the slightest doubt about the authenticity of the banknote, compare it with a corresponding banknote that you know to be genuine.

Those professionally handling cash may also check other security features, using special devices, such as magnifying glasses, ultraviolet lamps and infra-red devices. Other features include: 

  • Microprinting
  • Features seen under ultraviolet light (fibres and ink) 
  • Features seen under infra-red light

The authenticity of the banknotes may also be verified using devices that are able to detect machinereadable security features.