Rounding of Cash Transactions 

One Year on, 80 Per Cent of Retailers Are Applying Rounding

  • RG Data survey finds 80% application rate by retailers
  • 75% public awareness according to Central Bank research
  • 93% of people surveyed think rounding is a good idea or has made no difference

With the first anniversary of the introduction of rounding approaching, the Central Bank is publishing data on the level of awareness and application of the process nationally. Almost one year on from the national launch of rounding on October 28th 2015, 80% of retailers are applying rounding, according to a survey carried out by RGDATA among its members.

Separately, a RedC opinion poll commissioned by the Bank finds a 75% awareness rate among the public, while 93% of people who were surveyed think that rounding is a good idea or makes no difference.

Rounding was introduced in 2015 following a successful trial in Wexford to help reduce the levels of 1 and 2c coins in circulation, the majority of which were not in daily use. These coins are also unique as the cost of producing 1c and 2c coins was more than their monetary value. A 1c coin costs 1.65c to make, while a 2c coin costs 2.1c to make.

Coins were being hoarded or even thrown away, and inflation has caused the purchasing power of 1c and 2c coins to diminish by over 20 per cent since their introduction. As a result of rounding, between October 2015 and August 2016, 126 million unwanted coins have been lodged with the Central Bank and the costs of minting replacement coins has fallen.

 rounding-update

Rounding of Cash Transactions

The rollout of Rounding has been confirmed for Wednesday 28 October 2015. The Central Bank has assumed responsibility for the project, at the request of the Department of Finance. 

The key features of Rounding are:

  • Rounding will be conducted on a voluntary basis
  • 1c and 2c coins will remain legal tender
  • Rounding will apply only to cash payments
  • The total amount of any bill will be rounded down or up to the nearest 5c.

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

  1. a transaction costing €10.21 or €10.22 would be rounded to €10.20
  2. a transaction costing €10.23 or €10.24 would be rounded to €10.25
  3. a transaction costing €10.26 or €10.27 would be rounded to €10.25
  4. a transaction costing €10.28 or €10.29 would be rounded to €10.30

Two individual items priced at €10.99 and €3.49 respectively would remain at these prices, although the change on the total bill (€14.48), if €15.00 was tendered would be rounded down from 52c to 50c.

Three individual items priced at €2.99, €4.49 and €8.13 respectively would remain at these prices, although though the change on the total bill (€15.61), if €20.00 was tendered, would be rounded up from €4.39 to €4.40.

As at 12 June 2015 1,096,853,216 2c coins have been issued into circulation in Ireland amounting to €21,937,064.32.  1,384,491,236 1c coins have been issued into circulation in Ireland amounting to €13,844,912.36.

A 1 cent coin costs 1.65c to produce while 2 cent coin costs 2.1c.  

Six EU Member States have already adopted a symmetrical rounding policy; The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Hungary and Belgium. 

An infographic on the number of 1 cent and 2 cent coins produced in Ireland is available here.

The report on the Wexford Rounding Trial is available here.

If you have any questions about Rounding, please contact us at rounding@centralbank.ie

 

Rounding for Retailers

On Wednesday 28 October 2015 'rounding' of cash transactions will be rolled out nationally. This initiative arose because 1c and 2c coins are not used actively by consumers and are expensive to mint. This text and the attached documents give you, the retailer, a brief overview of what Rounding is, and how the Central Bank will support retailers in applying it from October onwards.  

So what is Rounding? Where a total bill is being paid in cash and the number of cent to be paid does not end in zero or five - so requiring either the customer to use 1 and 2 cent coins in payment or the retailer to use such coins in giving change - the amount of change paid will be rounded to the nearest five or ten cent:  

  • 1 and 2 would be rounded down to zero
  • 3 and 4 would be rounded up to 5
  • 6 and 7 would be rounded down to 5 
  • 8 and 9 would be rounded up to 10

For Rounding to happen, both the retailer and the customer must accept it; both will have the right to use exact change. Rounding only takes place on the total bill, not on individual prices, so existing price points (for example items priced at 0.99c) will remain unchanged. Rounding will not apply when bills are paid electronically, such as by debit card, credit card or by store card. Where a retailer is applying Rounding they can apply it automatically without asking the consumer – it will be up to the consumer to say if they don’t want Rounding applied.

The Central Bank will co-ordinate a national consumer education campaign in advance of the launch date. Retailers should indicate that they are applying rounding through appropriate in-store signage. This could include, for example, a notice on entrance-doors or at the till. The Central Bank will be making suitable signage available to retailers, free of charge, in advance of the rollout on 28 October.

 

Frequently Asked Questions for Retailers

Q. When will rounding be rolled out nationally?

A. 28th October 2015.

 

Q. Do I have to participate in rounding?

 A. No. Participation in rounding is entirely voluntary for both retailers and consumers.

 

Q. Do I round card transactions too?

A. No, rounding should only be applied to cash transactions. Card transactions are unaffected.

 

Q. What support will I get in applying rounding?

A. The Central Bank will engage in a public information campaign to make consumers aware of rounding. It will make in-store signage available to retailers to indicate their participation.

 

Q. Will this mean that all prices will be rounded to price points of 5 or 10 cent e.g. 99c items to €1?

A. No, rounding only applies to the total bill. Individual prices will remain unchanged.

 

Q. Will retailers lose out by providing a rounded change amount?

A. No. On balance, neither consumer nor retailer loses or gains as rounding can be up or down.

 

Q. What do I do if the customer complains about their total being rounded up at the end?

A. Participation in rounding is voluntary and you should give consumers exact change if requested.

 

Q. Will there be any implication for my VAT return?

A. VAT will continue to be charged as usual on the unrounded amount.

 

Q. Do I have to ask if the customer wants to round?

A. No. If a consumer does not want to participate, they will actively tell you.

 

Q. If I chose to take part in rounding can I later decide to pull out?

A. Yes, participation in rounding is voluntary at all times.

 

Q. If I chose initially not to take part in rounding can I take part later?

A. Yes. You can apply rounding at any stage.

 

Q. Do I have to change how my till operates?

A. That is up to each retailer to decide.

 

The below guidelines are intended for retailers and their staff: