Are loose coppers becoming a thing of the past?
Well, it looks like there's moves to get rid of the smaller coins, kicking off in Ireland with a new scheme. If it is successful, it could be rolled out in Britain too.
So what's going on? Well, the new rule see you having your change rounded up, or down, to the nearest 5 cent. There's a trial going on in Wexford, which follows similar schemes in Holland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Hungary.
Dr Ronnie O’Toole, an economist at Ireland’s Central Bank, said: "Consumers may be surprised at first but, judging from the experience in Wexford, they will embrace rounding very quickly."
Thing is, it costs mints a lot of money to issue the smallest coin denominations, and with the euro, Ireland has spent 37million euro (around £27million) issuing one and two cent coins, since it was introduced. That's three times the rate as the rest of Europe. It is hoped that this new rule will reduce the need to make more, as there's enough in circulation.
Obviously, the coins will still be legal tender, and the changes will only apply to cash transactions. If you're paying for something on a card, or another form of electronic payment, you'll just pay the normal total. It would also only be used on the final cash total of a bill, rather than individual items.
So, if you get a bill for something, and the amount ends in one and two cents or six and seven cents, it'd be rounded down to the nearest five. Those ending in three and four cents or eight and nine cents, would end up being rounded up. Sounds like a good idea, in principal, but the cynic in us makes us think that some businesses might use this as a scam to rinse more money out of customers.
Either way, would you like to see something like this over here?