Central Bank looks to phase out 1 and 2 cent coins
Bank to start a rounding trial on September 16th in Wexford
Newly-minted 2 cent euro coins. The Central Bank’s rounding trial in Wexford will seek to eliminate such coins as part of a trial. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Consumers in Wexford may soon find that the change in their pockets is no good, as the Central Bank starts a trial aimed at phasing out lower denomination coins.
From September 16th to November 17th, more than 240 local businesses will operate the trial, which will reduce the number of 1 and 2 cent coins in circulation; test how rounding will work in practice; and assess the reaction of consumers and retailers.
According to the Central Bank, the rounding trial rules are “simple and fair for all”. Cash transactions will be rounded to the nearest 5 cent at the till, to remove the need for 1 and 2 cent coins in change. So, for example, a transaction costing € 10.21 or € 10.22 will be rounded to € 10.20, while if it costs €10.23 or €10.24, it will be rounded to € 10.25.
Participation in the trial is voluntary, so if you want to keep using your 1 and 2 cent coins, you can.
The price of individual goods or services will remain unchanged as only the total bill will be rounded. Non-cash transactions are not affected. Ronnie O’Toole, programme manager for the National Payments Plan, says that the bank will be engaging in market research with consumers and retailers to assess the impact of the trial.
“All the indications are that Wexford will provide an excellent testing ground for issues that might arise and will provide a strong representative sample of experiences from local retailers and consumers,” he says.
For Senator Feargal Quinn, who is attending the launch of the trial, “one and two cent coins are a nuisance and I have questioned their relevance for some time.”