As of July 1, 2015 the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is discontinuing the issuance of the 1 and 2 cent coins to Commercial banks, according to Resident Representative of the ECCB, Linda Felix-Berkeley.
She also told THE NEW TODAY newspaper in an interview on Monday the commercial banks in turn will no longer circulate the 1 cent and 2 cent coins to customers who conduct transactions with them.
Felix-Berkeley said that this decision was taken by the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in light of the high production cost of the coins coupled with their very low purchasing power and the public’s perceived inconvenience in using the coins.
She stated that the ECCB has put in place what she called “rounding rules” to facilitate the change and that only settlement of cash transactions requires rounding.
“The rules indicate that when the total transaction value ends in X cents and payment is by cash, rounding should be done up or down to the nearest five cent increment,’ she said.
According to Felix-Berkeley the rounding system which came from ECCB suggest that prices with an end value of 1,2,6 or 7 should be rounded down and prices with an end value of 3,4,8 or 9 should be rounded up.
“Where the total cash payment by any consumer or vendor is of a value ending in one cent or two cents, it shall be rounded down to the nearest ten cents. Where the total cash payment by any consumer or vendor is of a value ending in three cents or four cents it shall be rounded up to the nearest five cents”, she said.
“…Where the total cash payment by any consumer or vendor is of a value ending in six cents or seven cents, it shall be rounded down to the nearest five cents. Where the total cash payment by any consumer or vendor is of a value ending in eight cents or nine cents, it shall be rounded up to the nearest ten cents and where the total cash payment by any consumer or vendor is of a value ending in zero cents or five cents, it shall remain unchanged,” she added.
Felix-Berkeley disclosed that the rounding system would not be applied to non-cash payments such as cheques, debit or credit cards.
However, all transactions for which EC cash will be given back as change or for settlement require rounding, such as the exchange of foreign currency, or the use of third party cheques.
Although the issuance of the coins have been stopped, Felix-Berkeley said the public has up until June 30th 2020 to continue using the coins to pay for goods and services but should not receive them back as change and to redeem the coins at the banks and get face value for them.