A June NPR article, The Latest Pandemic Shortage: Coins Are The New Toilet Paper, highlighted yet another way the pandemic has impacted life. A disruption in the circulation of coin. The reason is fairly simple. As businesses closed, the use of coin slowed.
The disruption in coin circulation is a reminder that, just like cash, coin isn’t going away. It has a crucial role within our economy. The article stated, “While a growing number of people rely on credit cards or smartphone apps for many transactions today, the coin crunch is a reminder that sometimes you just need change.”
The same article quoted Rep. John Rose, R-Tenn as saying that “in a time when pennies are the difference between profitability and loss”, this is not a time when businesses want to be in a position where they are forced to round up or down.
Rochester, along with other Cash-In-Transit (CIT) carriers, has played a role in helping the Federal Reserve implement changes to improve the circulation of coin. Rochester worked to communicate possible solutions to customers that supported the Federal Reserve’s efforts and helped banks and retailers combat the circulation issue, including creating maximum order strategies for their own branches and customers as well as depositing loose coin within the branches.
CITs like Rochester have a critical role in the circulation of coin by supporting companies like Coinstar, a company that owns and operates the largest fully automated network of self-service coin-counting kiosks. Not only does Rochester transport coin, but in many cases, Rochester processes the coin for customers too.
This simply means that a Rochester Coin Services customer establishes an off-site inventory at a Rochester vault that they then tap into for all their branches and/or retail locations. Rochester processes their orders and delivers paper-wrapped coin to locations designated by the customer. This helps banks and retailers improve efficiencies by reducing the need for expensive machinery and labor. In many cases, when a bank or retailer outsources coin to the same CIT that handles their cash vault management, they experience additional cost savings.
Perhaps the main message Rochester is sharing with customers is that the supply chain issue will go away as soon as deposit volumes pick up. And that is already happening. CNN.com recently reported that as businesses reopen, coin is picking up. Coinstar confirmed in that same report that it is seeing more activity as more businesses reopen.
CITs serve as part of the solution as they continue to provide coin services to customers and get coin orders where they need to be. Not only does this give customers peace of mind, but it also lets them put the focus back on figuring out the best way to serve customers and encourage them to also help move more coin.