Ireland set to roll out cash rounding

Businesses in Ireland will be able to round cash transactions to the nearest 5c from next week, as part of a move to start eliminating 1c and 2c coins.

The Central Bank of Ireland said that it had introduced the measure because 1c and 2c coins were not being actively used by consumers and were expensive to mint. A 1 cent coin costs 1.65c to produce, while a 2 cent coin costs 1.94c.

The national roll-out of the initiative begins on Wednesday 28 October, and follows a successful rounding trial that was conducted in Wexford. The initiative only relates to cash transactions, with card payments remaining unaffected.

Rounding also only applies to the total bill, so individual prices will remain unchanged. The move is voluntary for now, and 1c and 2c coins will remain legal tender. Customers can also insist on receiving the exact change from a merchant.

Six other EU member states have already adopted a symmetrical rounding policy: The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Hungary and Belgium.

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