Money Tips

The currency structure of Uganda consists of banknotes and coins and is denoted in Uganda Shilling (UGX).

The following denominations are currently in circulation:


UGX 1,000 UGX 2,000 UGX 5,000 UGX10, 000 UGX 20,000 and UGX 50,000.


50,100,200, 500 and 1000.


It is important to be aware of the security features incorporated in genuine banknotes and to distinguish between genuine Ugandan banknotes and counterfeit notes.

Security Features on Uganda Shilling banknotes
Advances in computer technology have resulted in more people having the ability to produce counterfeits. Technological advances mean that the lawful issuer has to follow the advances in technology closely and introduce security features to keep ahead of the counterfeiter.
New security and technical feature developments are therefore continuously being investigated.

The current 2010 series has been created using the world’s most advanced technology; the sizes of banknotes have also been adjusted to gain both ease of handling and ease of denominational separation. This is why the banknotes are difficult to counterfeit successfully. However, all these technological safeguards mean very little if members of the public do not take note of them, are not on the lookout for forgeries and do not report them immediately.

While the Bank has certainly created money the country can be proud of, it is up to every citizen to protect ourselves and the integrity of the country’s money against counterfeiters.

Security features to look for.

  • A watermark and electrotype formed within the paper – When held up to the light, the crested crane image is visible. You should look for the light area near the eye and the dark area above the beak. The denomination of each banknote is also shown vertically in the electrotype form below the beak.
  • A windowed security thread running through the banknote paper – A special thread is woven into the paper. On the front it appears a silvery stripe. When held up to direct light, it appears as a continuous line and changes color from red to green when tilted.
  • High quality paper – Members of the public report that they recognize a banknote as a counterfeit by the texture of the paper; and the fineness of the print quality on a genuine banknote is difficult for current scanning equipment to resolve properly. Intaglio printing, where thick ink lends a raised surface to the print surface, is difficult to reproduce cheaply.
  • The foil images are distinctly different for each denomination. In addition to the denomination numeral, a main pattern, Shield (50,000), drums (20,000), and pots (10,000) can be seen clearly. Moving lines around the main pattern change in a different manner on tilting the note side to side.
  • Colour Change Image (OVI)- This feature is present on the three lower denominations of 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000. The prominent purple pattern changes to green when the note is tilted.
  • Moving Colour Change image- This feature is present on the three higher denominations. The prominent green pattern contains a bright line that moves when the note is tilted from side to side. In addition, the colour changes from green to blue when the note is tilted away from you.
  • Iridescent Band- Moving the note around shows a hidden shiny stripe pattern at the back of all banknotes. The pattern reflects the mat pattern on the note with letters BOU and the denomination figure.
  • See through feature- Each denomination has a bold see through placed on the top right hand side near the denomination. All of the see through features are based on different Ugandan cultural images. Different parts of the image are visible on the front and reverse. When the note is held up the light, a combined image is formed with the front and back in perfect register.

What you should do when receiving a banknote

  • Study the various security features built into our banknotes;
  • Make a habit of checking the banknotes you receive for these features; and don’t hesitate or feel embarrassed about holding a banknote up to the light and feeling for intaglio printing.
  • If anyone does get upset, explain that there’s nothing personal involved and that it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep an eye open for forgeries. And don’t get upset when others check the money you’re handing them either!
  • In the unlikely event that you’ve been handed a forgery, don’t accept it. Simply alert the person to the fact and get the banknote replaced. Then check it too!
  • If you’re in a bank, insist on the manager and the police being called. And if you’ve received the money from a customer at work, call the police immediately. Under no circumstances, try to be a hero! Just get the banknote replaced, leave and report the matter to the police.