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Coin rounding begins as use of 1 cent, 2 cent coins reduced

Customers in Ireland will now receive change in cash rounded to the nearest 5 cent

Customers will still be able to ask for exact change. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Consumers in the Republic of Ireland will begin receiving cash change rounded to the nearest 5 cent from Wednesday, October 28th.

The move is part of Ireland’s rounding initiative, which aims to reduce the use of 1 cent and 2 cent coins.

The rounding will only apply to cash payments with the total amount of any bill being rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cent mark. This will be done on a voluntary basis and 1 cent and 2 cent coins will remain legal tender.

Customers will still be entitled to ask for exact change.

Changes on a total bill will be rounded up or down to the nearest five cent on transactions, for example:

- A transaction of €10.21 or €10.22 will be rounded to €10.20


- A transaction of €10.23 or €10.24 will be rounded to €10.25

- A transaction of €10.26 or €10.27 will be rounded to €10.25

- A transaction of €10.28 or €10.29 will be rounded to €10.30

Wednesday’s roll-out of the plan follows on from the successful trial conducted by the National Payments Plan in Wexford in 2013 which showed 85 per cent of consumers and 100 per cent of retailers in Wexford welcomed the national rounding of cent coins in Ireland.

Ronnie O’Toole of the Central Bank described the reaction to rounding as “fantastic” and said he expected Irish people would adapt well to the change.

“We migrated to the euro ahead of most other countries, and the indications so far are that consumers and retailers alike will embrace rounding,” he said.

Change for Charity and Make-A-Wish are calling on people to donate their hoarded 1 cent and 2 cent coins to charity.

Some 2,454,465,931 1 cent and 2 cent coins have been issued in Ireland since the introduction of the euro, with a total value of €37 million.

However, the cost of producing these small coins exceeds their face value - a 1 cent coin costs 1.65 cent to produce while a 2 cent coin costs 1.94 cent.

Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden have already adopted a symmetrical rounding policy on smaller coins.