Q. How are preparations going for the introduction of the new €10 banknotes in September?
Ton Roos: We’ll be introducing the new €10 banknotes on 23 September this year as part of our ongoing efforts to keep euro banknotes secure against counterfeiting and to ensure that the 334 million people across the euro area continue to have confidence in their money.
We are pleased with the efforts made by all so far and are confident that the launch will go smoothly. It’s a complex exercise, but, since the development stage, we have been in close contact with the main stakeholders, including banknote equipment manufacturers and suppliers, the vending machine industry, cash-in-transit companies and all others whose business depends on handling banknotes.
We know that they are working hard to prepare for the launch and that they will do everything necessary to adapt their equipment in time to accept the new notes.
Q. Last year, there were some issues with the new €5 banknotes. What have the ECB and the national central banks done to ensure that this doesn’t happen again?
Yes, we are well aware that there were issues in some countries with banknote machines that weren’t adapted in time for the new €5 notes last year. I think everyone learned from that experience. For the new €10, we have worked from an earlier stage and even more intensively with the banknote equipment manufacturers and operators to help them understand what needs to be done and provide them with the necessary support.
For example, we initiated the on-site test programme for the €10 banknotes much earlier in order to give everyone more time to adapt their machines, and we also made it much easier to borrow the banknotes from the national central banks, with more flexible collateral and security arrangements.
Q. Is there anything more that banknote equipment manufacturers and operators could or should be doing ahead of the launch?
We are confident that most manufacturers and operators are already taking the right steps. We will offer all the support we can at our level, both at the ECB and the national central banks, but anyone who is responsible for banknote equipment knows that in the end it is their responsibility to avoid disappointing their clients by checking that all their machines and devices are ready to handle the new €10 notes as soon as possible. It’s easy to borrow the new notes before their issuance, and anyone who needs to do so can either contact us at the ECB or directly approach their national central bank.