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Are higher denomination notes likely to become more common due to inflation?

  • 11-09-2023 2:25pm

    Fact is you scarcely see euro notes larger than €50 and indeed most places wouldn’t take €100 notes and almost no one is taking a 200 or 500 note.

    That said i wonder if rising prices everywhere might change minds on the matter! Surely makes more sense from the POV of a shop owner say? Less notes generally will be cheaper to process (as in 10 €50’s is more processing than a single €500 note) and it’s more convenient for those who use cash regularly.

    I mainly use my card anyway but when I have cash I do notice very quickly that the likes of a €50 note just doesn’t last like it used to. Honestly a few years ago you’d feel bad for using one “sorry I’ve nothing smaller now”, but these days they don’t seem big enough..



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,687 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    With the move away from cash it's highly unlikely.

  • There isn’t that strong of a push to move away from cash, at least one that exists in the real world.

    from what I can see there’s a wider acceptance of & indeed a preference for the use of EFT (debit/credit cards, bank transfers) but cash is still very widely used and I’ve seen scarce evidence to suggest it’s being wound down.

    Didn’t AIB try that and cause absolute outrage? KBC bank was cashless and they’re not in Ireland anymore.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,890 ✭✭✭Oscar_Madison

    Large denomination notes were quickly taken by money launderers and druggies as easier to transport - I think as a result the central banks across Europe stopped issuing them so the 200 note is the largest I think now if I’m no mistaken

    many peoples weekly families shop would be 200 euro maybe more so it’s not as large a note from a spending power perspective as it might have been 20 years ago when first issued

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,687 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    I didn't suggest cash was disappearing but 63% of retail transactions are now electronic. You can't deny the use of cash in in decline.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,366 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I suspect high denomination notes will still be discouraged in favour of card transactions

    From the shop's viewpoint, if there's higher value notes in the till it's more of an impact if they get robbed

    I don't think they'll refuse to take cash within reason (paying for some TicTacs with a €200 note might result in being told to f**k off), but there's always ways to make larger cash transactions a hassle for the customer

    For example the shop could insist every note over €50 has to be checked under a UV light, I think a lot of places will do this as standard anyway

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,366 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I remember when I was working in a shop a German guy tried to pay a €120 bill with a €500 note

    This would have been around the 2000s

    I had to explain to him that there wasn't enough money in the till to give him change, so we'd still owe him about €250

    I did manage to get someone else to break the note, after checking it around 6 times under the UV light just to be safe

    I've heard that cash is (or was) a lot more popular in Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland. Large transactions like a car purchase in cash was apparently even more common than here

    I don't know why or if it's still the case nowadays. Germans in particular are often very concerned about privacy (living under the secret police will do that) so they might have been distrustful of having a few large corporations with records of their purchases

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,366 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I wonder what the 37% cash usage was based on, cash usage reported by shops or ATM withdrawals

    If it's the latter, then it would likely include people spending money on drugs or sex workers. I'm assuming neither of those industries are reporting revenue figures to the CSO or revenue 😂

    So it makes you wonder how much of the remaining cash economy in spent on drugs and hookers

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,391 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    A business can legally not accept cash as long as they adequately communicate that by having visible signage.

    Like : ’ cash not accepted ’ ‘ card or account only ‘

    That said I think that they have to have reasonable grounds to have that no cash policy. Like…

    • remote rural business that takes in about 12 grand plus a day and has 4 or 5 employees on site. Be a higher risk of being a target for a robbery. Farm machinery business for example, car dealerships etc….
    • No facility safe enough to securely store large quantities of cash…

    so a local high street town supermarket decided to do away with cash ? And a couple of locals decided to go the legal route, It would be difficult all be it not maybe not impossible to justify it in front of a gimp judge. Judges are a law unto themselves and businesses and business people tend to get treated with kid gloves and indeed preferentially.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,890 ✭✭✭Oscar_Madison

    Germany had a 1000 DM note which was worth about £IR400+ if I remember correctly. Of course the Swiss have a 1000FR note but besides these most EU countries had fairly small denomination notes overall

    Large denominations even back then were the exception rather than the rule.

    $100US were with about 55 60 Irish pounds depending on prevailing exchange rate at the time.

    When Euro came out first there was definitely newspaper articles around the potential for the larger notes to aid money laundering so I think all central banks have been cautious around their issuing since.

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,392 ✭✭✭✭Victor

    "From the shop's viewpoint, if there's higher value notes in the till it's more of an impact if they get robbed" - shops never leave high value notes in the till. They go straight to a drop safe.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,385 ✭✭✭✭Geuze

    Although card use has risen a lot, the amount of cash in circulation has also increased!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,890 ✭✭✭Oscar_Madison

    Any gardening type jobs like ground clearance or tidying are all cash in hand and they can add up to a fair whack of dough depending on the work required.

    I don’t think my local Chinese has ever taken cards- it’s always cash. I only visit a few times a year so invariably forget.

    After that I don’t really deal in cash at all - petrol, weekly shop, dinner out and even pints are all by card.

    I can’t think of a reason to have any more than say 50-100 quid in my wallet at any one time aside from say an exceptional event like a banking crisis or revolution or something - but I wouldn’t be stashing 1000s under the mattress “just in case”

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,939 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    I've been finding that some places struggle to change a 20 even, they just don't have the change to give back.

    That's for buying things like a 2.50 coffee or a 4.50 zlice of pizza.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,709 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon

    I've always wondered where the 100 or 200 euro notes come from. I don't come across that many but average about 7 or 8 times a week in retail. Certainly not the ATM is it tourists bringing them in or something?

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,464 ✭✭✭✭Alun

    They're commonplace in other countries like Germany where paying for big ticket items like cars still happens with cash.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,994 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    People buying Sterling notes in Ireland to spend in England should avoid getting £50 notes. A lot of shops in England won't take them.

    The Central Bank never got €500 or €200 notes printed for circulation here, so any around were printed for other countries. Every country has prefix letter or letters on their notes serial numbers. Ireland is T or TC I think.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭Quitelife

    Your right there , was in about 3 shops lately in London that wouldn’t take a 50 pound note , just shows how poor their country is becoming when a 50 pound note is so rare in many parts of UK . Many people are depending on food banks there

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,366 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Wandering off topic but there was an interesting article about the state of the UK in RTE yesterday

    To be fair, they're still a much wealthier country than us, but it always seemed they had far worse wealth inequality and intergenerational poverty

    Ireland is far, far, far away from perfect but I do feel there seems to be more opportunities for younger people born in poorer areas when compared to the UK

    Anyway, on the topic of £50 notes, was it also due to the risk of forgeries than just not having enough cash on hand?

    And let's not forget the whole thing about non Bank of England notes (Scottish and Northern Irish notes) not being accepted in England.

    I remember in Scotland once getting some Halifax bank notes from an ATM which looked like monopoly money. I decided to spend as much as I could on the local pub economy rather than risk trying to change them back home

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,366 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I think Italy had large denomination notes as a norm, mostly because the Italian Lira was a bit of roller coaster currency and I think they were undergoing high inflation during the 90s

    I seem to remember at some point it was 50 Lira to 1 Irish pound 🤔

    EDIT: So scratch that, it was more like 2,500 Lira to £1 😳

    Even the Turkish Lira is doing better than that

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Well, Italian Lira are worth nothing now bar perhaps the metals in coins. The opportunity to exchange them for another currency ended in 2011, now all you can do is sell the coins to a company (maybe there’s more than one) who will pay you for the value of the metal which is interesting I think.

    Just goes to show money really is only valuable when we’re told it is.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 469 ✭✭Happyhouse22

    I have a 10 Billion Dollar Zimbabwean note.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,028 ✭✭✭Firblog

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,994 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    The sort of inflation we have is not going to bring the the €100 note into common usage. 2 x €50 is no inconvenience for anyone. Sometimes I see what we are experiencing described as hyperinflation, but that is hyperbole.

    "Hyperinflation is generally defined as price increases of 50% or more per month, but in the worst-known cases prices have doubled in days or hours. Hyperinflation happens only when people lose all confidence in a government and its institutions, usually in the aftermath of political or economic upheaval."

  • Registered Users Posts: 536 ✭✭✭thebronze14

    Worked in a bar in Manchester between 2016 and 2018. Not once did an English person pay with a 50pound note. Only ever got them from Irish people that exchanged their money before coming over

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,058 ✭✭✭silliussoddius

  • Registered Users Posts: 469 ✭✭Happyhouse22

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,994 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    I remember the wheelbarrow reference from people who have long memories.

    "In 1923, at the most fevered moment of the German hyperinflation, the exchange rate between the dollar and the Mark was one trillion Marks to one dollar, and a wheelbarrow full of money would not even buy a newspaper. Most Germans were taken by surprise by the financial tornado."

  • Registered Users Posts: 472 ✭✭chrisd2019

    If desired you can request them at the bank counter, recent bought a vehicle for cash, was given my choice of demonization at the bank, and the high value notes were by no way new.

  • Registered Users Posts: 82,530 ✭✭✭✭Atlantic Dawn

    It's mad how reactive retailers are there with a £50 note being presented to them, I couldn't believe it. Here I'd normally start out with a €50 on a booze session, in the UK better to stick to multiples of £20 to avoid being looked on as a money forger. In the US a $100 only gets a basic check provided your not buying a $2 bottle of Coke with it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,890 ✭✭✭Oscar_Madison

    For the “normal” ie not a millionaire or a money launderer- person, I guess a wad of 50s is where it’s at for as Bertie Aherne used to say, “running around money” -

    for businesses such as builders who might be paying cash to casual labourers, even though they may need to be paying out 1000s per week, the people receiving this money will want smaller denominations anyway, and certainly not 100s or 200s.