Ireland to eliminate 1c and 2c coins on 28 October

Source: Central Bank of Ireland

The Central Bank today announced Wednesday 28 October as the rollout day for Rounding in Ireland.

From that day, when consumers get change in cash in shops, the amount of that change will be rounded to the nearest 5 cent to reduce the need for 1 cent and 2 cent coins.

This follows a successful trial that was conducted by the National Payments Plan in Wexford in 2013, which showed that 85% of consumers and 100% of retailers in Wexford who expressed an opinion wanted Rounding rolled out nationally.

According to Ronnie O’Toole of the Central Bank: “The reaction so far to Rounding has been fantastic. As a country we are good at making changes like this. We migrated to the euro ahead of most other countries, and the indications so far are that consumers and retailers alike will embrace Rounding.”

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
The total amount of any bill will be rounded down or up to the nearest 5 cent.

The Central Bank has distributed packs to 20,000 retailers throughout the country, which will allow them to indicate participation in Rounding. From 28 October the Rounding stickers, till wobblers and posters will become familiar to consumers.

Consumer will be entitled to opt-out of Rounding, and can always ask for their exact change.

Charities are taking advantage of the Rounding rollout to try and raise money for some good causes. For example, Change for Charity and Make-a-Wish both have national drives to try and persuade people to donate some of their hoarded coins. The value of 1 cent and 2 cent coins that have been issued in Ireland since the introduction of the euro is €37m.

Notes

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

Three individual items priced at €2.99, €4.49 and €8.13 respectively would remain at these prices, though the change on the total bill (€15.61) if €16 is tendered would be rounded up from €0.39 to €0.40.

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 1 cent coin costs 1.65c to produce while 2 cent coin costs 1.94c.

Six EU member states have already adopted a symmetrical rounding policy: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, The Netherlands and Sweden.
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