Where Have All the Coins Gone Amid COVID-19 Pandemic?

By , WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Here’s an odd effect of the COVID-19 pandemic: With fewer people dining and shopping in-person, there’s a shortage of coins in circulation.

“It’s definitely a real thing,” Matt Schultz, chief credit analyst at CompareCards.com in Austin, Texas, tells Cisco Cotto on the latest coronavirus edition of the WBBM In Depth podcast.

“Basically, when the economy partially shut down, the flow of coins came to a stop, too. So, people stopped doing a lot of the things that helped coins keep moving. Over time, it ended up sparking a shortage, and that’s where we are now.”

Retailers and other merchants have pivoted in part by requesting exact change or requiring customers to use credit or debit cards, Schultz said.

A bank in Wisconsin is offering a premium to people who cash in their coins, he noted. They’re offering $5 for every $100 in coins.

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