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The future of Danish cash
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The future of Danish cash: Strategic initiatives

Cash is needed in Denmark – and will also be needed in the future. Danmarks Nationalbank expects to issue a new banknote series in 2028-2029, and older banknote series will be phased out. All banknotes from banknote series older than the current series featuring Danish bridges and archaeological finds (2009 series) will no longer be legal tender after 31 May 2025. The upcoming banknote series will not include a 1000-krone banknote, and the 1000-krone banknote in the current series will also no longer be legal tender in Denmark after 31 May 2025.

Cash is needed in Denmark – and it will also be needed in the future

For some Danes, cash is still an important means of payment for basic needs, while others use it at jumble sales, for birthday gifts or when giving pocket money to their children. Some people use cash because they feel uncomfortable using electronic means of payment. For others, cash is largely symbolic.

Today, one in 10 shop purchases are made using cash. Danmarks Nationalbank’s analysis of cash shows that there is still a need for cash in Denmark – and that Danes must be able to use cash as a safe and efficient means of payment. The current banknotes, featuring Danish bridges and archaeological finds, date from 2009, and as is the case in all other spheres of society, significant technological developments have happened since then – also among counterfeiters.

Cash is still a safe means of payment and will continue to be so. However, if citizens are to have long-term confidence in cash, banknote design and production must always be at the forefront of technology. Danmarks Nationalbank is therefore starting work on the development of a new series of banknotes.

Changing banknotes in order to keep them

In order to future-proof cash as a safe and efficient means of payment, Danmarks Nationalbank has taken initiatives in three areas:

Denmark needs a completely new series of banknotes based on the latest technologies to prevent attempts at counterfeiting. The new banknotes are expected to be launched in 2028-2029, and the series will comprise of 50, 100, 200 and 500-krone banknotes, but not a 1000-krone banknote. The new banknotes will also feature a new design and theme. When the new banknote series enters circulation, it will gradually replace our current series of banknotes over a number of years.

After 31 May 2025, only the current series of banknotes featuring Danish bridges and archaeological finds (2009 series) will be legal tender in Denmark – all other series will no longer be legal tender. This includes all older series of banknotes – from the so-called ‘substitution series’ (1944 series) up to and including the series featuring portraits and church art (1997 series). See the illustration of the banknote series concerned in Chart 1.

The 1000-krone banknote in the current banknote series featuring bridges and archaeological finds (2009 series) will be withdrawn from circulation at the same time as the older series of banknotes. No new 1000-krone banknotes will enter circulation, and 1000-krone banknotes will be discontinued as a means of payment after 31 May 2025.

From 1 June 2025 and up until the launch of a new banknote series in 2028-2029, there will thus only be one series of banknotes in circulation comprising four banknotes: 50, 100, 200 and 500-krone banknotes. See the illustration below.

A new security-updated version of the 500-krone banknote entered circulation in 2020, and this will be joined at the beginning of 2024 and in 2025 by security-updated 50, 100 and 200-krone banknotes in the current series.

Note:

For a complete overview of banknotes being withdrawn from circulation, visit nationalbanken.dk/futureofcash.

Ample time for the transition

Up to and including 31 May 2025, citizens and businesses will continue to be able to use the 1000-krone banknote and the older banknote series as a means of payment. Both in shops and for making payments between citizens and at banks.

The 1000-krone banknote and banknotes from the 1997 series can be deposited into an account via their bank’s ATMs and in their own bank. Some ATMs can also accept even older notes. Citizens and businesses will also be able to deposit older series of banknotes into their bank accounts up until 31 May 2025.

The practices for depositing cash vary from bank to bank. Therefore, as a citizen, you should study your bank’s website to find out how it handles cash and how much and which banknotes the bank’s ATMs can accept.

A new banknote series – for all Danes

Work on the new series of banknotes has just begun, and Danmarks Nationalbank is planning to ask Danes

in spring 2024

to assess possible themes for the motifs on the new banknote series. In addition, in the coming years Danes will be given insights into how a new banknote series is created.

Why are older banknotes being withdrawn from circulation?

The five most recent bank series – from 1944 up until the latest series from 2009 – are all legal tender today, and shops and businesses, with a few exceptions, are obliged to accept them, but in practice the possible uses of the four oldest series may be limited. Using older banknotes from before 1997 in shops and for private transactions may be difficult, because few citizens and shop employees recognise and feel confident about receiving the older banknotes. Some older banknote series can be used in ATMs and retail cash systems, while others cannot.

It is not appropriate that, in practice, banknotes of equal validity cannot be used in the same way. Such uncertainty risks undermining confidence in cash in the long run. Against this background, Danmarks Nationalbank has decided to recall the older series of banknotes.

Why is the 1000-krone banknote no longer being included in the Danish banknote series?

In agreement with the Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Danmarks Nationalbank has decided that the new banknote series will not include a 1000-krone banknote. The 1000-krone banknote is not necessary to support safe and efficient payments in Denmark.

This is because, among other things, cash is used less today for making payments, and because the vast majority of cash payments are for less than kr. 500. At the same time, anti-money laundering rules impose limits on how large cash payments can be.

The financial sector and retailers have previously indicated that they would like the 1000-krone banknote to be phased out. Among other things, it will reduce the need for change in cash tills. Cash handling will therefore be easier for stores without hampering cash payments by citizens. At the same time, the police estimate that the 1000-krone banknote is used much more than other banknotes to support financial crime of various kinds.

Although the number of counterfeit Danish banknotes is still limited, the 1000-krone banknote is increasingly subject to attempts at counterfeiting. This may undermine confidence in cash.

The 1000-krone banknote in the current banknote series featuring bridges and archaeological finds (2009 series) will therefore be withdrawn from circulation after 31 May 2025 at the same time as the older series of banknotes. When the new banknote series is issued in 2028 or 2029, it will comprise 50, 100, 200 and 500-krone banknotes.

Greenland and the Faroe Islands

Greenland uses the same banknote series as Denmark. When older Danish banknotes and the current 1000-krone banknote cease to be legal tender after 31 May 2025, they will no longer be legal tender in Greenland as well.

The Faroe Islands have their own banknotes, which have the same denominations and format as the Danish banknotes. Like Denmark, older Faroese series of banknotes are also legal tender in the Faroe Islands. However, the Faroese banknotes are not legal tender in Denmark, but can be exchanged free of charge for Danish banknotes.

The recall of Danish banknotes does not invalidate the Faroese series of banknotes. The Danish Government is in dialogue with the Faroe Islands authorities, whether to initiate similar initiatives for withdrawal of older Faroe bank notes and the current 1000-krone banknote.

Focus on special groups

After 31 May 2025, the older series of banknotes and the 1000-krone banknote will no longer be legal tender, and they cannot be redeemed in banks or used in shops.

For a period of one year thereafter, i.e. up until 31 May 2026, Danmarks Nationalbank will accept the old banknotes from citizens and businesses who have not been able to deposit the banknotes in their bank, exchange them at bureaux de changes or use them in shops etc. before the 31 May 2025 deadline. This applies, for example, to citizens who do not have a bank account in Denmark as well as foreign citizens.

Danmarks Nationalbank’s exchange points will open at the end of 2024 at the latest. In 2024, Danmarks Nationalbank will publish information about the location of its exchange points as well as their opening hours and the rules and conditions for using them.

Continuing the focus on Anti-Money Laundering

Some citizens, who generally only use cash to a limited extent, may need to deposit larger amounts of cash than usual, for example because they need to hand in cash savings that will not be legal tender after the deadline.

When banks, bureaux de change and shops receive cash from citizens and businesses, they will be subject to anti-money laundering rules and perform the same checks as today. The documentation requirements and rules have been established to discourage financial crime in society.

Therefore, you may be required to document or explain how the cash has been obtained legally. Citizens and businesses wanting to deposit cash in the bank may, in some cases, find the documentation requirements and practical issues onerous and troublesome. Some people may find that their bank does not allow them to deposit cash into their account if they cannot adequately document that the cash has been legally obtained.

However, any disadvantages for the individual must be weighed up against the fact that, as a society, we do not tolerate financial crime.

Danmarks Nationalbank works closely with other authorities, the financial sector, retailers and relevant interest groups to ensure that citizens are informed that older banknotes and the current 1000-krone banknote will be withdrawn from circulation, and that citizens are aware of the options and deadlines for using the banknotes in shops or depositing them at the bank.

When Danmarks Nationalbank’s exchange points open, they will carry out anti-money laundering checks in accordance with the rules that apply for banks and bureaux de change.

Danmarks Nationalbank issues banknotes

One of Danmarks Nationalbank’s key tasks is to support secure and efficient payments in Denmark, and this means both digital and cash payments. Danmarks Nationalbank has issued banknotes since 1818, when the bank was established, and Section 8 of the Danmarks Nationalbank Act of 1936 states that Danmarks Nationalbank’s banknotes are legal tender.

Formally, the older banknote series and the current 1000-krone banknote will be withdrawn from circulation on 31 May 2025 through an executive order issued by the Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs. But the recall of the banknotes, as the process is called, takes place at the request of Danmarks Nationalbank.

In practice, the banks will be receiving the banknotes that their customers wish to deposit in their accounts. The practicalities surrounding this service are decided by each bank. As in all other contexts, all procedures must comply with the anti-money laundering rules laid down by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.

Background – Danmarks Nationalbank’s cash analysis 2023

Danmarks Nationalbank is the issuing authority for banknotes and coins in Denmark and plays a central role in cash handling. Therefore, it is important that Danmarks Nationalbank identifies any challenges that may affect whether citizens and businesses in a society with low cash use continue to have access to safe and efficient payments in Denmark.

Danmarks Nationalbank has published an analysis of the role of cash in society. The analysis indicates that cash will continue to be needed to support safe and efficient payments in Denmark.

The analysis also shows that the cash infrastructure has regularly been adapted to accommodate changes in cash use in Denmark. The necessary cash infrastructure is still in place to ensure that citizens and businesses can access and dispose of cash.

However, older series of banknotes that remain valid means of payment are not necessary to support secure and efficient payments. On the contrary, many citizens have difficulties recognising them, which reduces confidence in these banknotes.

The analysis shows that the 1000-krone banknote is not important for citizens and businesses to make safe and efficient payments using cash. At the same time, the 1000-krone banknote is associated with certain costs to society, including crime-related costs.