The other day, a customer tried to pay a backer in hochstadt with one of the new funf-euro bills. The saleswoman stared at the banknote in bewilderment, held it up in the air with both hands and gave it a searching look. "What is the?", the lady asked irritated. "The new funf-euro bill, the customer answered truthfully. "Honestly? It looks like fake money!, the saleswoman replied.
In the end the customer got his sandwiches and change. The new bill not only confuses sellers, but most vending machines don't know what to do with it. Many people were already standing helplessly in front of the automatic teller machine with their parking ticket or were unable to buy a train ticket at the train station. For the vending machine operators this means: rescheduling.
In hochstadt, too – for example in the underground car park at vogelseck – there are still problems with the new ticket. "The order for the conversion has already been given to the responsible company", says hochstadt's mayor gerald brehm (JL). Of course, they are very busy at the moment, which is why they are still waiting for the delivery. So anyone who wants to park in the underground car park at the vogelseck should have enough change or an old funfer in their pocket.
The nurnberg transport association had similar difficulties, as its press spokesman manfred rupp reports. In nurnberg, furth and erlangen, the VGN has meanwhile rusted its ticket vending machines. Only 25 machines have not been upgraded because they are so old that a software update is not possible. The entire hardware had to be replaced – at a cost of around 3,000 euros per machine. The affected ticket vending machines will not accept the new ticket, but will be completely replaced with new ones in the course of the year.
New machines no problem
"In erlangen, all the machines are of a newer design and could therefore be adapted by means of a software update", says rupp. There have been no problems on regional trains. Here, tickets are bought from the bus driver anyway. Georg zenger knows the problems caused by the new funf-euro bill. Zenger is a cashier at hochstadter volksbank and is responsible for supplying cash to his customers. No matter whether it's a deposit or a withdrawal – everything runs across its table and through its payment machines.
"In the beginning, customers came to me again and again to ask whether it was a real note, says zenger. The introduction of the ticket has taken older people in particular by surprise. "I think the central bank should have informed the citizens better. It just happened too fast", says zenger. This is also the reason why the industry was not yet prepared for the new bill. The result: many machines now have to be retrofitted or upgraded.
Even zenger's note-paying machine goes on strike when the new ones seem to be in circulation. However, the device does not report false money, but simply does not recognize the funfer. "Here, too, the technician has to come and install a special module", explains zenger.
The reason for the introduction, according to zenger, was to improve the security against counterfeiting of the bills. Whether this works? Zenger is not sure: "the first false copies of the new ticket are already in circulation. Now we just have to wait and see how it develops in the near future."
Most of the time, counterfeiters take the 50-euro bill as their target. It is the most widely circulated of all denominations. In hochstadt, however, there have hardly been any problems with counterfeit money so far. "Since the introduction of the euro, we've had just four false notes", says zenger.
In the fall of this year, the fresh funfer will be followed by new ten- and twenty-euro tickets. Then the trouble started all over again for many people.