Ireland is getting rid of its 1c and 2c coins

The Central Bank of Ireland has revealed that 1c and 2c coins will no longer be manufactured, with the 28th October set as the official rounding day for retailers.


Moving towards a cashless society

Shop owners will be required to round their customer’s change to the nearest 5 cent in order to reduce the need for 1 and 2 cent coins.

This decision from the Central Bank has been coming for a while. In June, Payment Eye reported that the financial institution recommended the abolishment of the coins after a trial in 2013 proved extremely successful.

There are many key features to the rounding process. Retailers can volunteer to take part in the rule change; the process is completely voluntary.

Although participating shopkeepers will round up change to the nearest 5 cent, 1 and 2 cents will remain legal tender. Consumers will be entitled to opt-out of Rounding and can always ask for their exact change.

The changes will not apply to credit card, electronic or cheque payments and will not apply to individual goods, just the total transaction bill.

The bill can be rounded up or down, as follows:

  • A transaction costing €10.21 or €10.22 would be rounded to €10.20
  • A transaction costing €10.23 or €10.24 would be rounded to €10.25
  • A transaction costing €10.26 or €10.27 would be rounded to €10.25
  • A transaction costing €10.28 or €10.29 would be rounded to €10.30


‘The reaction so far to Rounding has been fantastic’

Ireland’s economy will reap the benefits of eliminating the two coins. A 1 cent coin costs 1.65c to produce while 2 cent coin costs 1.94c.

Since June 2015, over one million 2c coins have been issued into circulation in Ireland amounting to €21,937,064.32. Just over 1.3 million 1c coins have been issued into circulation in Ireland, costing the Central Bank €13,844,912.36.

The Central Bank is helping retailers adjust to the impending changes, giving out 20,000 packs that will allow shopkeepers to indicate their participation in Rounding.

The pack includes Rounding stickers, till wobblers and posters which will also inform customers of the changes. According to Ronnie O’Toole of the Central Bank, responses to the changes have been very positive.

‘‘The reaction so far to Rounding has been fantastic. As a country we are good at making changes like this. We migrated to the euro ahead of most other countries, and the indications so far are that consumers and retailers alike will embrace Rounding,’’ said O’Toole.

Ireland becomes the seventh EU nation to adopt a symmetrical rounding policy. Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, The Netherlands and Sweden have already eradicated their low value coins.

Central Bank of Ireland infographic

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