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Merchants Deal with U.S. Coin Shortage

As the coronavirus continues to impact the U.S., coins have become scarce

As the coronavirus continues to impact the U.S., coins have become scarce as the virus lockdowns keep people from emptying their coin jars in exchange for paper bills. As a result, the country’s coin supply is coming up short. And as the U.S. reopens, the supply of coins has failed to keep up with renewed demand for a type of currency that, even in an increasingly digital world, remains essential to business.

In June, the Fed recently said that the pandemic “has significantly disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coin. In the past few months, coin deposits from depository institutions to the Federal Reserve have declined significantly, and the U.S. Mint’s production of coin also decreased due to measures put in place to protect its employees.”

Large Retailers Encourage Card Payment or Exact Change
Therefore, some brick-and-mortar retailers are temporarily refusing to give coins out as change. According to, Kroger is the first large retailer to stop giving out coins as change when a customer pays with cash. Customers can either round up their bills to the nearest dollar, give the excess to charity, or get their change stored on loyalty cards. Walmart is also asking their customers to consider paying with a credit or debit card or pay with exact change if they insist on paying with cash.

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