Why can't the ATM dispose of coins?

Small change: what to do with the small penny coins?

Status: 01/20/2020 4:04 p.m. | archive
Large amounts of change have accumulated in many households.

They can be found everywhere: the copper-colored cent coins collect between the sofa cushions, in the jacket or trouser pocket or in the center console of the car. In many households there is a real reserve of change. Hardly anyone can say exactly how much coin is slumbering where. According to the Bundesbank alone, 35 billion 1-cent pieces are in circulation, together with the 2 and 5-cent pieces they make up almost 70 percent of all euro coins. Getting rid of the cent coins is often not that easy.

Cumbersome and expensive for banks

It is not uncommon for anyone who wants to hand over their change to the bank to experience a surprise. "We don't take it," it is said more and more often. Or there are fees because the cash transaction costs. According to an EU directive, financial institutions are required to check each coin individually before it is put back into circulation. At the Hamburger Sparkasse alone, 900 tons of small change or 130 million coins are generated each year, which have to be checked. Added to this are the transport costs for the coins.

Volksbank Jever has even canceled cent deliveries to the North Sea island of Wangerooge because they are too expensive. The island's shops are now rounded up or down.

Some shops refuse to accept cents

Business customers also have to pay fees to financial institutions when they deposit income from coins. This is a problem especially for companies with a high volume of cents, such as bakery shops. Many shops are therefore already rejecting the acceptance of 1 and 2 cent pieces.

But there are alternatives for consumers:

  • Customers can get rid of their change at self-payer checkouts, for example in hardware stores, if it remains "within the customary and justifiable framework".
  • There are so-called Coinstar machines in the Real chain's supermarkets. Here, customers can exchange their change for vouchers for a fee of 9.9 percent.
  • The Bundesbank is obliged to accept all coins - free of charge.

Germans hang on to cash

In Sweden, Finland and England, everything from bread rolls to scoops of ice cream has long been paid for by card, even the collections in the church are debited. The Germans, on the other hand, are hooked on cash. A study by the Bundesbank has shown that 96 percent of sums up to five euros are paid in cash in this country.

Interesting facts about cash

Even if card payments are becoming more popular, cash remains Germany's most popular means of payment. How many euro bills are actually in circulation? And how do you recognize counterfeit money? more

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Market | 01/20/2020 | 8:15 pm