Coin Task Force Reports on Disruption in Coin Circulation
Posted on February 18, 2022
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Mint formed a task force to examine the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on coin flows and the use of cash by American consumers and businesses. The U.S. Coin Task Force is comprised of representatives from the U.S. Mint, Federal Reserve, financial institutions, coin aggregators like Coinstar, armored car carriers, and retailers, like Wal-Mart and Target.
The organization published The State of Coin: A U.S. Coin Task Force Report, which looks at the 2020 and 2021 disruption the normal coin circulation. Over the past decade, federal reserve banks typically receive seven to eight coins back for every ten coins paid out in circulation. However, during the pandemic this rate has dropped by more than half, with many coin-reliant businesses slowing operations due to social distancing and stay-at-home measures. Since the normal coin circulation patterns rely on a seventy-five percent return rate, the U.S. Mint was forced to produce more coins.
The COVID-19 pandemic also dramatically changed consumers’ behavior towards payments, with more consumers paying by cards or electronic payment methods. The Diary of Consumer Payment Choice noted that the share of consumers who made in-person, cash payments declined. It is unclear if changes in consumer payment habits will remain after the pandemic or if it will return to pre-pandemic levels.
The Task Force announced a new initiative, called #getcoinmoving, that encourages consumers to deposit coins at their local bank, spend them at retailers, or put them through a coin recycling machine, and to post a picture of them doing so to social media using the #getcoinmoving hashtag. The task force also declared October to be the Get Coin Moving month and developed marketing materials to spread the word about the initiative.
Task Force report found at: https://getcoinmoving.org/media/020922-state-of-coin-paper.pdf