:: June 2009 | Newsletter n°61 ::

Back from the 2009 Rome Conference and moving forward

Excerpts from Mr. Ken Niven’s, ESTA President, speeches delivered at the Conference

“As a collective industry, I believe we have really earned our credentials as an essential provider of societal services, by ensuring that cash was available when it was needed, and where it was needed over the last year. Our logistical systems ensured that as queues formed outside many banks and ATMs across Europe, in autumn of 2008, our businesses fully provided the public with the cash they demanded.

And during the crisis, our proactive stance on the war on cash, which ESTA has been tackling directly for the last three years, has been proven to be correct. There has been a flight by the public away from plastic and electronic payments to cash. Credit cards in particular, have had a very significant reduction in transaction volumes. The growth in Euros in circulation in 2008 has been more than 10%, and recent figures from the British
Retail Consortium demonstrate that retailers find cash to be the most cost effective payment mechanism – by a significant margin.

I think we can take heart from the fact the card issuers’ prognosis that “cash is dead “, was simply a large and elaborate smokescreen to further their naked commercial interests.

Surely, there are major structural opportunities for our industry at this time of crisis, and with our combined expertise, I am convinced we are collectively well positioned to move forward and turn this crisis to the advantage of the cash industry.”

Please note that all presentations and photos from the Rome Conference are posted on the web site in section Events – Past events.

Many thanks to all participants for their contribution and a special word of gratitude to Antoinette for her invaluable and continuous assistance since 1975.

EU Affairs

  • The EU Commission White Paper on the cross border transportation of Euro cash by road between Member States in the Euro area has been published and can be retrieved from our web site in section Publications.
  • The Commission claims that this upcoming regulation aims at creating the establishment of common rules that generally allow cross-border transports by road between participating Member States, while providing a high level of safety for the CIT staff.
  • CEN Standardization of cash degradation systems – Update from the meeting of May 28th and 29th:

On the key issue of whether or not the Work Item should be put forward to TC263 for acceptance as an Active Work Item (AWI), the CEN Convenor presented the ‘preliminary’ votes from national mirror groups. All of those countries which have responded (Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, UK) had voted ‘Yes’ to promoting the Work Item to an AWI, along with ESTA, which has given its view that we should move to AWI status.

The ongoing standardization process still has to deal with a couple of important issues such as: packaging material, use of substitute notes for testing, currencies to be tested and number of tests to be carried out.

Cash in circulation – the latest data from ECB:

The number of Euro notes in circulation at the end of 2008 stood at 13,1billion, with a value of €762,8 billion, an increase of 8,3% and 12,7% respectively over the previous year.
In terms of denomination breakdown, demand for the higher value notes, which are used mainly for hoarding, grew the most. The €500 note grew by 17,1%, the €200 by 9,3%, the €100 by 14,2% and the €50 by 10,6%. The number of lower denominations rose at rates between 3 and 6%.
The total number of Euro coins in circulation grew by 7,9% to 82,3 billion, while their value rose by 5,7% to €20,4 billion.
The 2009 Q1 numbers are slightly lower than 2008 Q4 but higher than 2008 Q3.

These are the graphs:

Chart 1:
Low denomination banknotes in circulation
(in quantities, millions)

Chart 2:
High denomination banknotes in circulation
(in quantities, millions)

Chart 3:
Low denomination coins in circulation
(in quantities, millions)

Chart 4:
High denomination coins in circulation
(in quantities, millions)

Cards fraud – update from APACS:

“Fraud loss figures released today (19 March 2009) by APACS, the UK payments association, show that card fraud losses totaled £609.9m in 2008. The two main areas of fraud were on transactions not protected by chip and PIN: specifically internet, phone and mail order fraud; and fraud abroad - committed by criminals using stolen UK card details in countries yet to upgrade to chip and PIN - which has nearly doubled in two years”

Extrapolated to Europe, we estimate those staggering numbers to reach €4 Bn!

Cost of cash to retailers

The excellent document of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) study on the cost of cash to retailers concludes that cash is still the dominant force as a means of payment and remains the most cost effective method for retailers to accept customer payment.

Internal Affairs

The following new members have been approved:


From the media:

we recommend reading the following publications:
Banking Automation Bulletin, Currency News, and Security Europe.

Their latest publications are exceptionally made available on our web site, under the section Publications, and provide essential news for our industry.

2010 ESTA Conference

We are pleased to announce the confirmed dates of our next Annual Conference to be held in Porto, Portugal on June 13 thru 15.

Please make a note of this important date in your diary!

New ESTA contact

As of today, we kindly advise you to use the following e-mail adresses for future communications to the ESTA secretariat:

ESTA - European Security Transport Association
Rond Point Schuman 6 - B5, Brussels, 1040, Belgium
Tel: +32(0)2 234 78 20
www.esta-cash.eu, contact@esta-cash.eu