Business: Local banks offering ‘cash in change’ incentives to help cope with national coin shortage

Business: Local banks offering ‘cash in change’ incentives to help cope with national coin shortage

 

As a national shortage on U.S. coins continues, local banks are offering some incentives to get extra coins in circulation. As the COVID pandemic hit and partially closed the economy in March and April, the flow of coins through the economy virtually stopped.

“Yes, banks (and businesses) all over are experiencing a coin shortage due to the pandemic,” says Jamie Foster with Greater Community Bank. “The US Mint has begun ‘rationing’ coin allotment for businesses/banks, so we are encouraging our customers to ‘cash in’. We have taken small steps, from encouraging customers to pay the exact change so we can give them dollar bills back, to limiting rolled coin orders from businesses to only customers, whereas it is usually available to the public.”

For a limited time, Greater Community Bank is encouraging customers and non-customers to bring in their change and will waive the 3% service fee normally charged to cash-in coin. Plus, they are offering a $5 bonus for totals exceeding $50. This offer is good at Rome (1490 Martha Berry Blvd.) and Calhoun (305 W. Belmont Drive) offices.

“We came up with the $5.00 bonus and waived fees as a way to encourage people who have the coin jars/containers at home to come in and cash in,” says Foster.

In an effort to accommodate social distancing guidelines, GCB encourages folks to call the bank first to schedule curbside service at 706-295-9300 (Rome) or 706-629-1700 (Calhoun). The waived fee and bonus is subject to change without notice.

River City Bank at 228 North 2nd Avenue is also offering a similar promotion. They are allowing both customers and general public to use their coin machine for cash with all fees waived through August.

“We have a coin machine that we own and always offer it free to our customers,” says Jennifer Selman with River City Bank. “But because of all that is going on and with the ongoing coin shortage we thought we would open it up to the entire community through the end of August. Our 5% fee is now waived.

River City Bank is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to bring your coins, but if you have a large amount, they prefer you call ahead at 706-236-2123.

Kay Chumbler with Heritage First Bank in Rome says they are “managing well” despite the effects of the shortage. “We are managing well with what we have. The Federal Reserve is equally distributing orders. So while we can’t get our full order, we are able to continually supply our customers and have managed with what’s been provided to us.”

Why the shortage?

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said in a recent statement to the House Financial Services Committee that the supply chain that coins usually flow through has been interrupted during the pandemic. Banks and businesses were shuttered or changed the way they operate. And so there are fewer coins reaching the public.

The Federal Reserve Banks began a “strategic allocation of coin inventories” in mid-June, as well as imposing limits on order volume. The U.S. Mint is now producing more coins.
“Although the Federal Reserve is confident that the coin inventory issues will resolve once the economy opens more broadly and the coin supply chain returns to normal circulation patterns, we recognize that these measures alone will not be enough to resolve near‐term issues,” the Reserve Banks statement said.
There are stories across the country of stores “excited” to see change like this one from WKBN News in Ohio. Many stores had to refuse to accept cash and go to card only system simply because they did have any coins to give cash back to customers.

Bottom line, now is the time to use or spend your coins!

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