Danish legal tender to change from 2025 to meet modern cash requirements

Danish legal tender to change from 2025 to meet modern cash requirements

The Danish Central Bank, Danmarks Nationalbank, has mapped out changes to the country’s legal tender from 2025 onwards, phasing out banknotes issued before 2009.

A new series of banknotes will be printed to replace the outgoing ones, with the four oldest note types due to be taken out of circulation from 31 May 2025 onwards. Also of significance, the largest value note, the 1,000-krone, will be removed from circulation.

The bank has stated a number of reasons for these changes. Firstly, like many other European economies, Denmark is moving increasingly towards card and digital payments as opposed to cash.

Danmarks Nationalbank cited that cash is used for around 10% of payments in physical stores, with 90% of these cash payments being in amounts less than DKK 500 (€67). 

This, coupled with the fact that Danish AML rules prohibit large cash payments, means that the DKK 1000 note is ‘not important for the citizens’ possibility of using cash for payments’.

Christian Kettel Thomsen, Governor of Danmarks Nationalbank, said: “With the Danes’ changed payment habits, there is no longer a need for the 1000-krone banknote, and, in practice, it can even be difficult to use for payments. 

“And, of course, we also listen to the concerns and wishes of the police, the financial sector and the retail sector regarding the 1000-krone banknote,”

Concerns around the use of the 1000-krone banknote for ‘various types of financial crime’ have also been raised by the Danish police and other authorities. The Bank noted that the government is tabling a bill to reduce the cash spending limit from DKK 20,000 (€4,600) to DKK 10,000 (€2,300).

Regarding the phasing out of old bank notes – such as those with depictions of Danish bridges and archeological items, which date back to 1944 – the Bank believes that these notes cause difficulties when used in physical retail environments.

The notes ‘do not meet today’s standards’, Kettel Thomsen explained, as some store staff are often reluctant to accept the notes due to not recognising the tender – despite the notes being legal – and some older bank notes cannot be deposited in ATMs due to technological changes.

The Nationalbank aims to bridge the technological gap between the notes and Denmark’s existing payments landscape. The Bank believes that the 31 May 2025 cutoff point will give Danish consumers adequate time to return old banknotes.

Kettel Thomsen remarked: “To ensure that cash remains a secure and efficient means of payment also in future, the design and security features of the banknotes must be at the forefront of technological development. 

“This is what we want to ensure with a new series of banknotes, and it’s completely in accordance with Danmarks Nationalbank having historically developed new series in step with technological development.”

Banknote changes will also affect Greenland, which uses the same notes as mainland Denmark, but a separate dialogue is underway with Faroe Island authorities due to the islands using a different set of notes. This dialogue also concerns whether or not the islands will remove the 1,000-krone note from circulation.