Even if the money and institutions that manage our payments are secure, there may be other risks linked to our payments and means of payment. For example, there is always a risk that cash will be stolen or counterfeited. But from an international perspective, the new Swedish banknote series has a very high level of security with details that are very difficult to counterfeit and easy to identify.
One problem when fewer people are paying in cash is that knowledge of what a genuine banknote looks like decreases, and the risk then increases of people accepting counterfeit banknotes even if they are of low quality. In 2019, the number of counterfeits in Sweden also increased, as 1,703 counterfeit banknotes were discovered. Of these, 1,557 were 500-krona banknotes. This is an increase from previous years but is still a small amount compared with other countries. The trend of there being more counterfeit banknotes in circulation seems to be continuing in 2020. In the first quarter alone, 1,554 counterfeit banknotes were found, the overwhelming part of which (1,513) were 500-krona banknotes. The counterfeits discovered so far have been of very low quality and attempts at imitating the security features on the banknotes have been highly unsophisticated or absent. It is thus easy to see whether a banknote is genuine if you know what to look for. Over the year, the Riksbank has conducted campaigns in social media and elsewhere to increase awareness of what a genuine banknote looks like.