Albania Gains a New Banknote Amid High Cash Demand

calendar iconJul 7, 2021


Albania’s central bank has introduced its highest-ever denomination banknote as cash demand continues to climb.

The 10,000 Albanian lek note (around €80/$97) is the latest in a series of new notes being introduced 2019–2022. Previously, the highest denomination was 5,000 lekët, but as the Albanian economy grows and cash demand rises, the bank has seen a need for a larger note.

Its introduction and circulation will enable a better and more efficient circulation of cash, helping the structure of currency in circulation, reducing the costs of production, storage and distribution.
"Gent Sejko, Governor, Bank of Albania

Demand for cash around the world saw a sharp rise in 2020, following a common trend of people turning to physical money in a crisis, ensuring they have plenty to hand should other payment methods become unavailable. From America, Britain and Canada to Mexico and Japan, many economies saw people flocking to ATMs ahead of lockdowns, and new highs for cash in circulation. Albania has been no exception, with circulating money soaring in 2020 by more than three times the previous year’s growth.

In addition to adding a new denomination, the new notes also benefit from the latest security technologies, with many features introduced for the first time, and a design including the Albanian flag and celebrating Aleksandër Stavre Drenova, author of the poem that became Albania’s national anthem.

The 10,000 Albanian lek note became legal tender on 30 June 2021.

Despite the development of other means of payment… money in circulation continues to have an upward trend, which reflects the continuing demand of the economy for physical money as a means of payment.
"Gent Sejko, Governor, Bank of Albania
Last Updated: Jul 6, 2021