New app identifies counterfeit euros

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A new app for smartphones released by the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) on Monday allows to check for authenticity of euro banknotes. The app scans the security features and the structure of banknotes to determine if it is genuine.

The app has separate modes for each of the euro notes in circulation. When scanning the banknote, it checks the accuracy of the contours and looks for security features embedded in the note. If scanning does not guarantee that the note is genuine, the user is advised to check specific security features manually by looking for items like watermarks and the hologram.

The authentication app comes in handy for anyone involved in cash transactions, but who might not have an authentication device commonly found at retailers. It was designed with second-hand sellers in mind, to help prevent fraud from transactions over websites like Marktplaats.

The app is currently only available for the iPhone 5 and later versions, and is free to download. An app for users of the Android platform is forthcoming.

Last year, DNB and retail banks in the Netherlands intercepted 48,700 counterfeit notes. Overall there is an estimated 838,000 counterfeit Euro bills in the global economy, the DNB said. The proportion is relatively small given the 16 billion genuine euro banknotes in circulation.



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