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Narodniy Bankir

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Cash or card?
08 April 2019
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Cash or card: which is more convenient and safer?

Over the past five years, according to the NBU, the share of payments by payment cards in Ukraine has tripled and amounted to almost 40%. But still, it is very few in comparison with Europe, where paper money has actually become a rarity. In Sweden, for example, about 80% of purchases are paid by cards1.
There are various reasons for the lack of trust in payment cards on the part of our compatriots. Basically, they are afraid of fraudsters. But at the same time, those who prefer cash, almost do not check the banknotes and become an easy victim of other thieves – counterfeiters. Let's talk about how to avoid it, what you should know about paper money and what is safer – a card or cash.

The figures show: recently the number of counterfeit banknotes in Ukraine has increased. According to the National Bank in 2017, there were about 3,6 fake banknotes per 1 million of real hryvnia banknotes. Of the total number of seized counterfeit banknotes – 61% were banknotes of 500 UAH. Scammers have learned how to fake money so well, not all modern detectors can recognize a fake.

1 - in accordance with the German international public broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW)

Railway stations, markets ...

But still, most often counterfeit banknotes are sold in crowded places. The risk group includes railway stations; markets, small shops, fairs, etc .; street fast food, coffee kiosks.

How to protect yourself from counterfeiting

The main rules to follow are:

  • More actively use cashless payments, by a payment card;
  • If you prefer cash, make purchases in stores equipped with special detectors: money will be checked here before they get to the cashier;
  • get a portable detector of banknotes, as this will allow you to check the banknotes for authenticity, without departing from the cash register in stores or in the market;
  • exchange currency at banks or licensed exchange points;
  • do not exchange small money for banknotes of a larger denomination in places of mass commerce or at the request of passersby.

How to identify fake hryvnia

​Deft fraudsters have learned how to print banknotes in such a way that it is quite difficult to distinguish them from real ones. But there are no perfect fakes. Try to view received banknotes more often, especially large denominations – it takes a few minutes, but it will save you from cheating.
The first sign that should be alerted is the quality of the paper. If a banknote is suspiciously smooth, it is worth looking at it. Place a banknote on the light and pay attention to the following details:

  • The presence of watermarks. The original money contains a hidden picture that duplicates the portrait of a historical person, from the front and back.
  • The usage of optical variable paint. Elements printed by it, shimmer and change color, if we look at a banknote from different angles.
  • Also, the security features are hidden items, protective tape, microfiles made in small print, and the like.

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Let's take a 500 UAH note in our hands and look at it against the light. In real money, the portrait is clearly visible, and if you change the angle a little, it becomes as if it were volumetric. Each digit of the denomination printed clearly and precisely. From the right edge, there is a ribbon of dark gray color. If you tilt the banknote, the tape begins to move. In a fake one, it is simply pasted, static and has a different shade. Also, the nominal must be reproduced inside the tape. And also – take a look at the element on the right side, similar to an open book. On the original banknote "book" should sparkle with colors.

What should you do with counterfeit banknotes?

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Do you suspect you have counterfeit money? Don’t panic. First of all, in no case do not try to pay in this banknote somewhere imperceptibly. If you are "hooked" – a meeting with the police cannot be avoided. For trying to sell a fake banknote, the criminal liability is provided.  The best option is to bring a suspicious banknote to a commercial bank. The cashier will check it with the help of special banking equipment and, if in doubt, about the authenticity of the banknote, seize it to be sent to the NBU for examination.

So nonetheless: card or cash?

​We advise you to trust your money to a bank payment card and more often pay by it. A chip card, unlike paper money, cannot be faked. It is convenient: having a card, you don't have to carry cash and at the same time you are able to make purchases freely. And do not be afraid to get fake money when you receive the change.

It is safe: in case of its loss, funds in the account can be saved simply by calling the bank and blocking the card. But in case of loss of the wallet, most likely the cash won't be returned. When using the card, it is important not to tell anyone its details (number, password, code word, CVV-code, confirmation code from the SMS).

The card allows you to make purchases on the Internet; cash does not give such an opportunity. 

The card helps to implement financial control: you get the opportunity to analyze expenses through bank statements, as well as online information systems.

A card is hygienic. Paper bills and coins have a large turnover.  They can be used by people with various diseases, so microbes and bacteria can remain on the money. 

Finally, a card is additional facilities: packages of banking services, loyalty programs, bonuses for purchases made with a payment card, and the like.

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