Making “cents” out of U.S. coin shortage

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Kwik Trip is asking customers to pay with exact change — or use a debit or credit card if possible. The Wisconsin-based business is not alone.

Banks are reporting a shortage, caused in part by the mass closing of businesses in the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mickey Adams, Northshore Bank, Branch Manager tells WFRV Local 5, “There is a coin shortage throughout the U.S. The mints are not producing as much coin, because they are trying to keep their employees safe. So the circulation has gone down.”

She adds that, during the pandemic, customers and businesses had to use ATMs. In turn, retail and commercial customers couldn’t have their coins counted. Adams explains that this contributed to the coin shortage.

If there’s not enough change, retailers might have to round-up on transactions and, with so many businesses already struggling, most can’t spare a dime.

“So what we are doing right now to correct the issue is we are recycling our coin that we are taking in and we will use that in place of having to use all the rolled coin,” Adams says.

Rose Poels, President of the Wisconsin Bankers Association says the shortage may be shortlived.

“The U.S. Mint has increased production and it is expected within a few weeks that the supply will get back to normal due to the increased coin circulation.”

In the meantime, local banks like Northshore have a solution that makes perfect sense.

Adams says, “We’re hoping by encouraging customers and non-customers to come in, we will count their coin for free, we think that may help with the circulation issue.”

Northshore Bank will offer free coin-counting until the end of July.

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