By Central Bank of Ireland….
The Central Bank of Ireland welcomes the decision by the Government on 16 June 2015 to rollout the rounding of 1c and 2c coins nationally. This follows a successful trial that was conducted by the National Payments Plan in Wexford in 2013.
The Central Bank will now assume responsibility for the project. Details of how rounding will be implemented have yet to be finalised but it is anticipated that it will be rolled out in the next few months.
The key features of rounding are:
- Rounding will be conducted on a voluntary basis
- 1c and 2c coins will remain legal tender
- Rounding will apply only to cash payments [CoinWeek’s emphasis]
- The total amount of any bill will be rounded down or up to the nearest 5c
The Central Bank will engage with industry bodies and other stakeholders in advance of rollout to ensure that they are fully prepared for it. The Central Bank will also ensure that the public and consumers are well informed.
Rounding will only apply to:
- Cash transactions (not to credit card, electronic or cheque payments), and
- the total transaction bill (not to individual goods).
The bill can be rounded up or down, as follows:
- A transaction costing €10.21 or €10.22 would be rounded to €10.20
- A transaction costing €10.23 or €10.24 would be rounded to €10.25
- A transaction costing €10.26 or €10.27 would be rounded to €10.25
- A transaction costing €10.28 or €10.29 would be rounded to €10.30
Two individual items priced at €10.99 and €3.49 respectively would remain at these prices, though the total bill (€14.48) would be rounded up to €14.50.
Three individual items priced at €2.99, €4.49 and €8.17 respectively would remain at these prices, though the total bill (€15.61) would be rounded down to €15.60
As at 12 June 2015 1,096,853,216 2c coins have been issued into circulation in Ireland amounting to €21,937,064.32. 1,384,491,236 1c coins have been issued into circulation in Ireland amounting to €13,844,912.36.
A one-cent coin costs 1.65c to produce while a two-cent coin costs 1.94c.
Six EU Member States have already adopted a symmetrical rounding policy; The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Hungary and Belgium.
It amazes me that we in the US are still using the same sizes and fractional denominations of coins as our great-great grandparents. My “modest proposal” for bringing us into the 21st century:
> Eliminate the cent
> Eliminate $1 and $2 bills and replace them with coins. … and balance their mintages so there are plenty of $2 coins to simplify making change.
> And fodder for flamers: mint a smaller, possibly multi-sided 50 cent coin and at the same time replace the quarter with a 20 cent piece so we’ll finally have a true decimal system, instead of trying to maintain backwards compatibility with Spanish milled dollars. So long as we have a coin whose denomination is an odd multiple of 5, there will never be a practical way to make change if the nickel eventually goes the way of the penny.