People have tens of millions of invalid banknotes in their wallets

Although it has been almost half a year since some banknotes expired, people still have tens of millions in their wallets, according to a press release issued by the Czech Banking Association (ČBA) on Friday.

The Czech National Bank (ČNB) decided to withdraw some banknotes from circulation at the end of June. Specifically, this concerned those with a thin silver stripe from 1995 to 1999. The only exception is the CZK 5,000 banknotes, which remain valid.

With cash desks, people can exchange invalid banknotes for new ones at all bank branches. In addition, banks have also adjusted the settings of deposit ATMs that accept invalid banknotes.

Nevertheless, the Czechs still have many invalid banknotes in their wallets. The ČBA said that the most significant number of invalid banknotes are 100 crowns, with 22 million still in circulation.

“I recommend checking wallets or other places where people store money. They could be trying to buy Christmas presents with invalid notes. More than one-third of the 100 crowns in circulation are still invalid. In the case of the 200, it is more than a fifth. According to data from the ČNB, there are tens of millions of invalid banknotes in total,” said Tomáš Hládek, ČBA expert on payments and money circulation.

And how do you distinguish invalid banknotes from valid ones?

Apart from the year, the main difference is the silver stripe, which is thinner on invalid banknotes and whose color does not change when the banknote is tilted. “The latest banknote designs have a wider and golden stripe. The color changes from brownish-purple to green when the banknote is tilted or turned slightly. This does not apply to the five-thousand-dollar banknotes – they all remain valid,” Tomas Hládek.

People still have enough time to return the old banknotes. Banks will accept them until June 2024. After that, exchange will be possible, indefinitely, only at ČNB branches, the ČBA warned.