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Rounding up isn’t just for charity, stores urging consumers to spend loose change

Coin Shortage
Posted at 8:11 AM, Oct 17, 2022

It has become common practice for stores to ask customers to round up their orders for charity. But one big reason stores may ask you to round up is not just about charity.

According to the Food Industry Association, many coins remain out of circulation and shops continue to have difficulty producing exact change. According to the U.S. Coin Task Force, an estimated $48.5 million in coins remain uncirculated and collecting dust.

“Americans have been shifting their tender away from cash in favor of debit and credit cards,” writes Christine Pollack, vice president of government relations with the Food Industry Association. “The pandemic compounded the use of plastic for reasons such as lack of knowledge about how the virus spread leading to more card-only lines and contactless payments, preference for online purchasing and use of third-party delivery services, and younger generations wanting more portable payment methods such as phone apps.”

Leaders from various industries have declared October Get Coin Moving Month to advocate customers to spend dormant coins at stores. They hope getting customers to spend the loose change lying around the house will help alleviate the shortage of coins in circulation.

“Disruption in the coin supply hurts our cash-paying customers the most who depend on our stores to make change,” said Anna Ready Blom, director of government relations for The Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing. “It also creates additional burdens on our store associates to divert time and resources to finding coins.”