Have you noticed signs popping up at stores and restaurants requesting exact change or cashless payments?
The Federal Reserve has announced that there’s a national coin shortage, but, to be more precise, there’s a slow down in circulation and production.
A June 11 news release from the Federal Reserve confirmed that coin deposits to the reserve had declined, and that the U.S. Mint had decreased coin production.
While COVID-19 swept the nation and shut down, cash money stopped circulating at its normal rate.
However, authorities do believe the situation will eventually sort itself out.
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on June 17 that the coin shortage has resulted from the shut downs.
“With the partial closure of the economy, the flow of funds through the economy has stopped,” he said. “We are working with the Mint and the Reserve Banks, and as the economy re-opens, we are starting to see money move around again.”
Fewer people out and about and more people opting for touchless forms of payment there’s a lot less physical cash moving around.
The Federal Reserve has set up a special U.S. Coin Task Force “to ensure the equitable distribution of Federal Reserve coin inventory and new coin production by the U.S. Mint.”
Currently, many banks are unable to place coin orders and are quickly running through coins faster than they’re receiving them.
An employee at the Gulfport Regions Bank branch asked residents who have a coin jar to roll them and exchange them at the bank to help them with daily operations.
Regions Gulfport branch, 5728 Gulfport Blvd. S., does not have the machine to roll coins, but does give out sleeves for free.
Until the economy is back in full swing, the presses go back to full production and cash starts to circulate again, the Federal Reserve says the shortage will remain an issue.
However, there are additional options for those looking to get rid of their coin hoard.
Several Wawa gas stations in the area are offering to exchange separated or rolled coins in exchange for cash (without fees) and offer bonuses such as fountain drinks, coffee and sandwiches to help with their coin shortage.
Other businesses are requesting cashless payments or a willingness to round a sale total with change up to the nearest dollar.
On July 24, Coinstar, a coin-cashing company, posted on their Facebook page, “Did you know there is a coin shortage in the U.S.? Help put more coins back into circulation by bringing your loose change to Coinstar. Enjoy extra cash, a no fee eGift Card, or make a donation to charity while helping the economy.”
When asked by followers if the company would be willing to waive their fees on coin processing, however, Coinstar did not respond.
Learn more about the Federal Reserve’s role in coin distribution here.