GREENSBORO, N.C. — Pling. Plunk. It’s the sound of coins. This is the cash you usually ignore, you really just want the kind of cash you fold, right?
Debbie from Rockingham County says no coins caused a big problem. She writes: There was one register that would accept cash, but it had to be rounded off to the nearest dollar because they have no change. This is the Walmart in Reidsville.
Walmart isn't the only retailer having a coin issue. Convenience stores are feeling it. Quicktrip has signs posted asking customers for exact change or they'll give you the money back on a gift card. Even 7-Eleven stores in certain areas are asking customers to bring in $5 in change and they'll get a free Slurpee along with the dollar cash equivalent.
Banks could use your coins too.
"If you have large amounts of coins at home take them to your bank and have them run and then just get the cash, you still have the same amount of money and we have coins to circulate out,” explained Alicia Wade, COO Vallience Bank.
Okay...so why this shortage of coins all of a sudden?
Here's how it all adds up.
Retailers were shut down and the circulation of coins was cut +
the U.S. Mint had to cut production of new coins because of staffing changes due to COVID-19 + the Federal Reserve put limits on how much change banks would be given = a shortage.
It doesn’t help as more retailers open up and banks can't fill their orders for coins. The U.S. Mint has been able to ramp up production to 1.5 billion coins a month. The Federal Reserve expects the shortages to ease as the economy opens up more, but it’s not clear when that will be.