July 14, 2020

What You Should Know About the National Coin Shortage

You may have seen news reports that our country is experiencing a coin shortage. Some local businesses – including gas stations and grocery stores – are feeling the effects and asking customers for digital payments or exact change only.

What causes a coin shortage?

Several factors stemming from the coronavirus have contributed to the shortage including a disruption of money flow due to business closures and safer-at-home orders, as well as more consumers opting for contactless payments.

According to a statement from the U.S. Coin Task Force, the shortage is not a shortage at all – it’s a coin circulation issue.

“There is approximately $48 billion in coin already in circulation, most of which is sitting dormant inside America’s 128 million households. As people have changed their spending habits, and coin-intensive businesses and financial institution lobbies have been less accessible, the nation’s coin is pooling in coin jars, in car cup holders, and in shuttered businesses, making it difficult for the businesses of this country to get the coin that they need to support cash transactions.”

How long will it last?

The Federal Reserve has assured us the issue is temporary. As a start, the U.S. mint has increased coin production to increase supply. As the economy opens, circulation will increase between customers, businesses, and banks – all helping coin inventories reach normal levels.

How can I help?

In the meantime, consumers can do their part by:

  • Bring in excess change to your bank. You can exchange coins for cash or deposit the funds into a checking or savings account. Coin exchange is a free service for Fortifi Bank clients.
  • Start spending your coin, especially at local businesses.
  • Redeem coin at coin kiosks.
  • Use the hashtag #getcoinmoving in social media posts to promote awareness and the understanding of this issue.

As always, it is best to wash your hands after handling cash and coin to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Follow CDC recommendations when visiting retailers, small businesses, banks, and grocery stores.

For further reading on the coin shortage, visit https://www.usmint.gov/news/press-releases/statement-on-circulating-coins.

For our latest coronavirus resources, visit FortifiBank.com/covid.

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