At the baker, the butcher or even the local grocer, your ticket is never accepted? Good news, it is possible to get a refund or repair your damaged ticket. So, if you’ve tried to push it back to get rid of it, but nothing works, don’t panic. We explain the procedure to you.
A colossal ceramic-covered building on the edge of the A86 in La Courneuve harbors the secret of these refurbishments. Within the national fiduciary center, you will find all the cash in the region and no less than 25% of the denominations in circulation in the country. Each year, approximately one billion banknotes ranging from 5 to 500 euros pass through the walls of this ultra-secure site.
At first glance, there is nothing to suggest such secret activities. And yet, the logo of the Banque de France can put the chip in the ear, as mentioned by our colleagues from Parisian. Inside, state-of-the-art sorting machines ensure that these banknotes, whose longevity is often a central issue in the perpetual evolution of various means of payment, restore the image of these banknotes. These agents, whose delicacy and tact are precious and unmatched, engage in a surprising practice whose mission turns out to be more than useful in reality.
If you also want to entrust them with your banknotes, previously refused in a slew of shops, nothing prevents you from doing so. The measure, extended to all French people, sees banknotes collected at the counters of the Banque de France, or even in your local post office. Two scenarios are then proposed to you: the exchange can be immediate for authentic banknotes judged to be in fairly good condition and whose surface is greater than 50%, while the species that is too damaged will land at the national fiduciary center to be placed between the hands of “La Courneuve experts”.
Like the forensic pathologists represented in the cinematographic universe, those located in La Courneuve could obtain the same recognition, so difficult is their task. As a first step, the latter must carry out an investigation to determine the condition of the ticket in order to know if the owner can obtain compensation of the same value. “The rule is that we must have at least 50% of the surface of the original ticket, because we only have to reimburse it once”, explains François, an agent of the Banque de France.
Buried underground, attacked by thermites or partially destroyed in a fire, most of your banknotes can be reconstructed. With the help of a scalpel, pliers or a roll of Scotch tape, these masters in the field do a remarkable job.
Obviously, smart little ones try to circumvent the system by sending voluntarily deteriorated counterfeit tickets. Unfortunately, the checks carried out upstream by the agents do not let anything pass. “It’s manual work, meticulous, case-by-case analysis”, as a member of the service admits. In other words, the system knows no flaws.
A free analysis and reimbursement service that not all central banks offer, underlines the Banque de France, which nevertheless explains that “the note is a product that must be taken care of”. And if you find franc banknotes buried at the bottom of your grandmother’s garden, there’s no need to deposit them at the Banque de France. They have been demonetized since February 2012.