Preparing for penny phase out
On Feb. 4, the Royal Canadian Mint will no longer distribute pennies. Businesses are expected to begin rounding cash transactions, up or down, to the nearest five-cent increment in the absence of the penny. The THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy.
Published Thursday, January 31, 2013 9:52PM EST
The Royal Canadian Mint will stop distributing pennies Feb. 4 which means big changes for Canadian businesses and customers.
Businesses will be expected to round cash transactions up or down to the nearest nickel.
For example, if the total cost of an item is $5.02, it will be rounded to $5. If it is $5.03 it would be rounded to $5.05.
“It's going to cost money, it's going to require changes on our system and it's going to be inconvenient for ultimately our customers anything that's a disservice to them is unpleasant for us,” said Rocco Nicastro Jr. of La Bottega Nicastro.
He said that rounding up and down isn’t the biggest problem; it’s balancing the books and the cost of new technology.
“It's a significant investment to upgrade a system to something that can handle that,” Nicastro said.
Some customers said they’re not sad to see the penny go.
“Just a little extra weight in the pocket that I don't need,” said Charles Siegel.
“It’s much better if you have 5 cents or 10 cents instead of a penny,” said Iryna Borzilova.
To others, though, the one cent coin is sentimental.
“I’m very sad to see them go actually. I was just looking through my change today and I found a 1967 penny with a dove on it and I think it's going to be a valuable part of our history that's just fallen by the wayside,” said Robert Fournier
The government said phasing out the penny is expected to save Canadian taxpayers $11 million each year.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Katie Griffin