The American Bankers Association and a coalition of trade groups today urged the Treasury Department to raise public awareness of the current coin circulation slowdown and the need to get coins moving in the economy.
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the groups asked that the department amplify the message of the U.S. Coin Task Force—of which ABA is a member—that coin circulation has slowed and that coins are being rationed. The groups recommended that Treasury amplify the message through public engagements and its many communication channels, including public service announcements.
The pandemic caused consumers to largely shift from cash-based payments to card-based payments and the U.S. Mint has made it clear that it does not have the capacity to produce enough new coins to make up for the circulation slowdown, the groups wrote.
“The consequences of a coin circulation slowdown fall hardest on consumers that do not have the ability to pay electronically,” the groups wrote, adding that “if retailers are not able to offer change for cash purchases, consumers who rely on cash will be vulnerable.”