PHOENIX – Amid a nationwide coronavirus-related coin shortage, Arizona banks are asking for your help.
“If you have spare change, we encourage Arizonans to check with their local bank if they accept rolled coins, to use exact amounts when purchasing items, or to deposit them in coin-operated machines. cash in on groceries, ”Paul Hickman, CEO and president of the Arizona Bankers Association, said in a press release Friday.
The circulation of coins has plummeted due to a combination of factors, causing banks and businesses across the country to run out of metallic currency.
Buyers prefer credit or debit cards more than ever before, whether for convenience or because of the spread of COVID-19 through cash handling.
There’s not really a shortage of coins, said Hickman, it’s just that more money is in the piggy banks, jars and drawers than usual.
“At the start of 2020, more than 4 billion coins were being deposited – or put back into circulation – every month,” Hickman said. “These numbers fell to less than $ 2 billion as of April.”
In what is both a cause and an effect of the coin shortage, more and more companies are encouraging cashless transactions.
Retail giant Walmart and other stores have asked customers to pay with cards or exact change, according to creditcards.com.
Kroger, the parent company of Fry’s Food Stores, has a program to load change into customers’ loyalty cards instead of giving back coins, according to NPR.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell discussed the issue when asked about it during a congressional hearing in June.
“With the partial shutdown of the economy, the flow of funds through the economy has stopped,” he said.
“We are working with the Mint and the reserve banks and as the economy reopens we are starting to see money moving again.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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