Europe Is Trying To Combat Money Counterfeiting With Neuroscience

The goal of the redesign is to make it easier for everyday people, not just money experts, to identify a counterfeit bill.
Posted at 11:17 AM, Apr 04, 2017

Some European currency is getting a face-lift — and it's all to make counterfeit money easier to spot.

The latest release, the 50-euro bill, hit circulation April 4. That note is one of the most counterfeited euro banknotes. 

The European Central Bank started releasing new bills in 2013. And in March, the U.K. released what it calls "the most secure coin in the world."

The redesign of the 50-euro bill will hopefully make it easier for average people, not just money experts, to tell when a bill is fake.

People's brains are wired to spot differences in faces more easily than in objects like buildings, for example. So the European Central Bank worked with a neuroscientist and came up with a design using the face of Europa, a Greek goddess. 

Europa is pictured twice on the 50-euro bill: once as a hologram and once in a watermark visible when the bill is held up to light.

The 50-euro note is part of the Europa series, and the fourth to enter circulation. The 100-euro and 200-euro bills have not yet been released.

The image of Europa's face is one of many security features on the new bills. The bank's "feel look tilt" campaign encourages people to take a closer look at their cash.