National coin shortage hits Valley banks, businesses

Updated: Jul. 14, 2020 at 7:39 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - You may have noticed signs on store doors asking you to pay with a credit or debit card. That’s because the COVID-19 pandemic is causing a coin shortage impacting everything from banks to businesses. This could short change your coin purse too.

Coins are something you likely don’t think about until there’s a shortage. The Federal Reserve is blaming the COVID pandemic on a disruption to supply. That’s impacting financial institutions like Redstone Federal Credit Union.

“On a weekly basis our allotment of pennies is only $50. Our allotment of nickles is only $200,” said Patricia Lloyd, public relations coordinator for Redstone Federal Credit Union.

Banks, running low on quarters, nickles, dimes and pennies, are forced to ration their supply. Redstone Federal has 26 branches. Each one must carry change for its customers.

“We constantly do get coins in from our members if those are coming to us rolled we can use those immediately,” said Lloyd.

A lot of businesses still operate with cash. They need those coins to make change.

Teneshia LaRoda owns the Donut Hole on University Drive in Huntsville. The change shortage isn’t short changing her business. She moved to a cashless payment system in April. She sympathizes with those business owners who still accept cash as a form of payment, in a time when coins are in high demand.

“It could result in you losing a customer or business that day,” said Teneshia LaRoda, owner of the Donut Hole.

LaRoda says she went cashless in April to avoid contact with money that could be tainted with coronavirus. Her customers now use debit or credit card only to pay for donuts and menu items. That’s helpful to LaRoda’s business - especially in a time of uncertainty.

“It was very clear to us if we could find a way to eliminate that and just go debit that way there’s one transaction being made from your card to the machine,” said LaRoda.

As more and more businesses open back up and return to normal work hours, coin orders are starting to increase. The Federal Reserve says that could do away with the shortage soon. Until then, banks and businesses are doing the best they can to meet consumer demand.

“We’re looking at ways we can work through this with as little disruption as possible,” said Lloyd.

Change very few people ever thought the government would run low on.

Banking customers can bring their spare change to the bank. You can use one of the coin sorters set up at your financial institution to get cash for your coins.

Copyright 2020 WAFF. All rights reserved.