The test procedure
The MNB, based on its exclusive role in currency issuance, is committed to ensuring the authenticity and fitness of banknotes and coins in circulation. To this end, two MNB decrees regulate the terms of distributing and processing banknotes and coins - MNB Decrees 1/2023. (I.17.) and 20/2019. (V. 13.).
Institutions involved in cash handling and distribution [cash processing provider companies and cash distributors (e.g. credit institutions, the postal service)] may recycle banknotes only after they have checked them for authenticity and fitness and identified them as genuine and fit for recirculation. Forint banknotes must be checked for authenticity and fitness using banknote processing machines, or manually.
Banknote handling machines can be classified into two main categories by function:
1. Staff-operated machines, including
- banknote processing and banknote sorting machines,
- banknote authentication machines,
- teller assistant recycling machines,
- teller assistant machines,
2. Customer-operated machines, including
- cash-in machines,
- cash-recycling machines
- combined cash-in and cash-out machines
- cash-out machines.
The ability of banknote handling machines to recognise genuine banknotes and sort them according to their fitness for circulation is assessed by the MNB by conducting tests. From 1 January 2010, forint banknotes may be recycled through customer-operated machines and cash dispensers (e.g. automated teller machines, ATMs) on condition that they have been checked for authenticity and fitness using banknote handling machines successfully tested by the MNB and have the registered versions of the updated authentication hardware and software installed, as published in a list on the MNB’s website. As for cash processing provider companies, they may check the authenticity and fitness for circulation of forint banknotes – not including forint banknotes that cannot, owing to their physical condition, be checked with banknote handling machines or those withdrawn from circulation – only with banknote handling machines conforming to the above requirements.
The MNB conducts the tests and publishes the data relating to the banknote handling machines meeting the relevant requirements in accordance with the provisions of MNB Decree 1/2023. (I 17.) on the processing and distribution of banknotes, and on technical tasks relating to the protection of banknotes against counterfeiting.
The results of tests conducted by the MNB are only relevant to the types of machine tested by the MNB and the hardware and software versions used during the test procedure, as well as to the test package of the given version number used in the test procedure.
The testing and registration of banknote handling machines may be requested from the MNB by the manufacturer, the distributor or the operating company (together: the applicant).
The application shall have attached the documents listed in Article 17 (3) of the MNB Decree 1/2023.
The application shall be submitted by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by post (Magyar Nemzeti Bank Directorate Cash Logistics, 1850 Budapest).
For further information please contact
Ms. Judit Ferincz (email@example.com) regarding initiation of the testing procedure and questions in connection with the MNB Decree 1/2023,
Mr. Gellért Stoffán (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding technical questions.
Publication of the test results
After the test procedure is completed, the MNB publishes on its website the data for the type of machine meeting the relevant requirements, in the so-called MNB register (list of staff-operated machines and list of customer-operated machines).
The MNB adds a clause to the banknote handling machine type listed in the MNB register if the given banknote handling machine type can only be used with some limitation. The banknote handling machine type that has a clause in the MNB register shall only be used for functions to which the limitation does not apply.
One year after the last day of the calendar month when the registration was effected, the MNB removes from its register all data for the tested banknote handling machine type, unless the MNB has re-tested the banknote handling machine type in question on an annual basis or otherwise, and the machine type has met the relevant requirements.
The MNB also removes a tested banknote handling machine type from its register before the deadline referred to above
if the applicant fails to comply with the call for an unscheduled re-test or
the banknote handling machine type in question fails to pass an unscheduled re-test procedure,
60 days have elapsed from the registration of the hardware and software version without clause limitative of the banknote handling machine type with a clause in the MNB register following successful testing,
the MNB establishes a non-compliance due to a failure of the type of banknote handling machine within the framework of central bank inspection.
Following successful certification but prior to commissioning in Hungary, the operator of the equipment and the Hungarian distributor or, where there is none, the manufacturer is obliged to notify the Magyar Nemzeti Bank, as required by the Decree of the Governor of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank “1/2023 Banknote Decree”. The notification (of the commissioning) must be made through the “ERA” IT notification system established and operated by the Magyar Nemzeti Bank for this purpose. Pre-registration is required to have access to the system.