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Recommendations and Resources

U.S. Coin Task Force Adds New Resources to #getcoinmoving

September 10, 2020

After publishing its initial recommendations and resources for addressing the coin circulation issues in the supply chain as a result of COVID-19, the U.S. Coin Task Force has published new resources for financial institutions, armored carriers and retailers, designed to help #getcoinmoving.

Since convening in July 2020, the U.S. Coin Task Force has completed two work sprints, focusing on identifying, refining and promoting strategies to resolve the coin supply chain issues resulting from COVID-19-related disruptions to normal coin circulation. At the conclusion of the initial work sprint in July, the task force determined that it should continue work in order to develop resources that would facilitate a consistent public message and a more expedient and uniform adoption of the task force’s recommendations. The U.S. Coin Task Force encourages retailers, financial institutions and armored carriers to use the resources to counter the ongoing coin circulation issues.

At the conclusion of the second, August sprint, the U.S. Coin Task Force has:

  • Developed toolkits for use by retailers, financial institutions and armored carriers. The toolkits include best-practices and recommendations for increasing coin circulation and decreasing barriers for handling coin in the supply chain while maximizing equitable access to coin and emphasizing financial inclusion.
  • Published the toolkits and other U.S. Coin Task Force materials on GetCoinMoving.org. Task force members emphasized the need for a single place to house all materials to provide convenient access for financial nstitutions, retailers, armored carriers and the public; GetCoinMoving.org meets this goal.
  • Determined that the U.S. Coin Task Force should complete an additional sprint of work in order to measure and monitor the impact of the task force’s recommendations and toolkits and adjust or supplement the materials as necessary for maximum effectiveness. The U.S. Coin Task Force will continue its work through the month of September to monitor coin circulation and develop or adjust materials to increase coin circulation if needed to meet the mission of the task force. New resources will be available on www.getcoinmoving.org.

The U.S. Coin Task Force includes representatives from key segments of the coin supply chain, and looks forward to reporting on its continued progress in early October.

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U.S. Coin Task Force Initial Report and Recommendations

July 31, 2020

The U.S. Coin Task Force was convened in July 2020 (Off-site) to identify, refine and promote strategies to resolve the coin supply chain issues resulting from COVID-19-related disruptions to normal coin circulation. At the conclusion of its initial work, the U.S. Coin Task Force has:

  • Issued a public call to action. The Task Force’s public statement (Off-site) aligns with the recent United States Mint statement (Off-site) and highlights the real risk that businesses will be unable to complete cash transactions if they do not have sufficient coin to make change. This could potentially limit the ability of millions of cash-reliant and cash-preferring Americans to buy necessary goods and services. To mitigate this risk, the U.S. Coin Task Force has urged all Americans to return their spare change to circulation by using it for retail transactions, depositing it with financial institutions, and/or redeeming it at coin recycling kiosks.
  • Identified a number of sources of friction that prevent the smooth functioning of the coin supply chain. Task Force members explored why circulation was disrupted by the pandemic and what factors might prolong this disruption. Identifying a number of considerations, Task Force members articulated friction points throughout the supply chain, starting with the consumer redemption of coin. For example, as financial institutions have limited access to their lobbies, it has become more difficult for consumers and small businesses to deposit their coin. The Task Force identified challenges for industry acceptance of coin, such as the fact that some financial institutions do not have the capability of handling an uptick in coin deposits to their branches. The Task Force also explored impediments to the industry in managing coin inventories, for instance when coin is packaged differently than users might demand. Across the supply chain, the lack of reliable, timely, automated information about coin holdings further complicates inventory management.
  • Developed preliminary recommendations that the coin supply chain can adopt to help resolve the issue. Having identified bottlenecks among consumers, retailers, armored carriers and financial institutions, the Task Force developed preliminary recommendations, including:
    • Developing materials to encourage consumer-facing campaigns to both promote awareness of the need for coin recirculation and develop ideas to encourage consumers to act. One idea, for example, is providing parents with materials to use coin gathering and depositing as “teachable moments” with children of various ages.
    • Preparing best practices for financial institutions and retailers to get coin from consumers and recirculated through the supply chain via their armored carriers; and
    • Producing toolkits and guidelines for supply chain participants (financial institutions, retailers, consumers and other coin handlers) to reduce the most critical industry-specific points of friction. For example, financial institutions that are not equipped to accept large scale loose deposits of coin by consumers could provide coin rolling kits free of charge to their customers.
  • Determined that the U.S. Coin Task Force should complete an additional sprint of work in order to build out toolkits that will facilitate more expedient and consistent adoption of the Task Force’s recommendations. The U.S. Coin Task Force will continue its work through the month of August to develop materials for use in public campaigns as well as for use by retailers, financial institutions and armored carriers.

For reference, this illustration1 offers a stylized view of U.S. coin circulation. It should be noted that the size of the various arrows do not reflect the relative size of the supply and demand. For example, the United States Mint’s production usually accounts for roughly 20% of the coins that the Federal Reserve pays to circulation, while recirculated coins make up the balance. Additionally, this visualization does not show changes in the pace of coin circulation or reflect areas where coin may currently be pooling (e.g., with consumers and in shuttered businesses) rather than returning to circulation.

this illustration1 offers a stylized view of U.S. coin circulation. It should be noted that the size of the various arrows do not reflect the relative size of the supply and demand. For example, the United States Mint’s production usually accounts for roughly 20% of the coins that the Federal Reserve pays to circulation, while recirculated coins make up the balance. Additionally, this visualization does not show changes in the pace of coin circulation or reflect areas where coin may currently be pooling (e.g., with consumers and in shuttered businesses) rather than returning to circulation.

The U.S. Coin Task Force includes representatives (Off-site) from key segments of the coin supply chain and looks forward to reporting on its continued progress in early September.

Footnote 1Source: United States Mint

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Resources

Resources for Retailers and Financial Institutions

Many retailers and financial institutions are looking for ways to engage both employees and consumers on the current coin circulation challenges. The U.S. Coin Task Force has created this toolkit for retailers considering various coin campaigns to increase circulation. The U.S. Coin Task Force invites retailers to use these resources and customize them to fit your needs.

Retailers

What Not to Do
  1. Given the current coin circulation issue, stockpiling and hoarding coin is detrimental
    1. Coin moving through the supply chain is the quickest way to regain stability
    2. Don’t hold any more coin than you need to make change
  2. Do not block or restrict access to the coin aggregators supporting your area
    1. While it may be hard to watch coin leaving your store at a time when you desperately need it, the overall impact is better circulation and will result in a quicker return to “normal”
  3. Do not stop accepting cash as a first-line solution to the coin circulation issue
Suggestions to encourage coin circulation
Themed month to increase coin circulation
  • September: Encourage retailers and financial institutions to prepare for #GetCoinMoving month by pointing them towards the toolkits
  • October: #GetCoinMoving Month
  • Would need flyers and graphics to support it
    • Review materials
    • Prepare for October by having an employee coin drive
  • October
    • Financial institutions and retailers encourage their customers and communities to get coin moving
    • Adopt strategies in the toolkits
      • Signage
      • Promotional scripts
      • Coin drives
      • Coin promotions
  • Themes
    • Week 1 – Gather your coin
    • Week 2- Discover your coin
    • Week 3- Make a difference, turn in your coin
    • Week 4- Find your spare change
U.S. Coin Task Force Social Media Recommendations
    • Use your social media channels to help #getcoinmoving! Below we have outlined a list of ideas and recommendations to kick-start your social media efforts
Use our graphics
We need your coins! Help #getcoinmoving by paying with exact change and exchanging your loose and rolled coins for cash. Visit www.getcoinmoving.org for more info.
We need your coins! Help #getcoinmoving by paying with exact change and exchanging your coins for cash. Visit www.getcoinmoving.org for more info.
Create your own graphics
Together, let's #getcoinmoving
PFCU #GetCoinMoving
#GetCoinMoving KBA - Kansas Bankers Association
Community First - Federal Credit Union - Free Coin Machine - July 1st - July 31st - Free Coin Machine Usage for Members - Coin Machines Available at Lakeview, Howard City & Trufant Branches - 4% charge for non-members & shared branch members - Federally Insureed by NCUA
#getcoinmoving - Spend your coins - Deposit coins at your financial institution - Redeem coins at coin kiosks - Use the hashtag #getcoinmoving to promote awareness
Post photos of coin redemption
Feeding America showing coin redemption
An individual redeeming coins
An individual redeeming coins
Come Join
Post photos of your customers exchanging coin
Customers standing wearing face masks
Customers wearing masks
Facts to share in your posts
  • The U.S. is experiencing a disruption in coin circulation related to COVID-19 shutdowns – this is not a coin shortage!
    • COVID-19 has significantly crimped limited the regular circulation of coin through our economy
  • There is approximately $48 billion in coins currently in circulation in the U.S.
  • When businesses can’t make change because of a lack of coins, they can’t accept cash as a form of payment
  • Those who depend on cash as a form of payment (the unbanked) are hit the hardest when businesses can’t accept cash
How to exchange coin
  • Bring your coin in to exchange for cash
  • Pay with coin
  • Deposit into coin kiosks
Fun captions
  • Crack open that piggy bank!
  • Calling all coin!
  • Spend your coins – they’re bored!
  • Spending your coin makes cents!
  • Where have you found extra coin? Couch? Laundry room? Car cupholder?
  • Turn in your coin and tell us how you plan to spend it!
Lifestyle captions
  • Looking for a way to educate your kids about money?
  • Need extra cash to send your college student back to school?
  • Need extra cash for back-to-school supplies?
  • Looking to grow your saving? Cash in your coin and deposit it today!
Promote incentives and specials
  • Promote rewards, specials or new policies for exchanging coin. Examples:
    • $1 for every $25 coin exchanged
    • Free promo item for coin exchange
    • Donate your coin to ____ charity
    • Retailers: Free drink, ice cream, etc. for coin exchange over $10
    • Financial Institutions: Now exchanging coin for free for customers and non-customers
    • Financial Institutions: Make an appointment to exchange your coin!
    • Financial Institutions: Open a savings account for your deposited coin
Hashtags & Links
  • #getcoinmoving
  • #everycoincounts
  • Visit www.getcoinmoving.org for more information, activities and toolkits.
Accounts to follow and share from
  • U.S. Mint
  • Federal Reserve
  • Your local banks
  • Treasury
  • Armored Carriers
  • Coin Kiosk Companies
Consumer Incentive Campaign
  • Consider ways to reward consumers that bring in and/or pay with coin. Suggestions include (adjust as appropriate for individual business needs):
    • “Redeem $15 or more in coin and receive a voucher/gift card for $5.”
    • “Use your coin redemption voucher for entirely in-store purchases and receive a free gift.”
    • Print a “golden ticket” for every 25th Cash Redemption receipt and those could be redeemed for a prize at each store (ex., a free donut or fountain drink)
    • Connect coin redemption to loyalty card points or rewards
    • Consider ways to expand on the incentives and rewards for multiple trips or purchases with coin to encourage repeat behavior
  • Use customer redemptions as an opportunity for public awareness
    • If the customer is willing, take a picture and post on social media using the hashtags #getcoinmoving and #everycoincounts
  • Create a sense of pride about redeeming coin
    • Provide “I gave coin sticker” (can we insert the intern example here?) and encourage people to share selfies on social media included the #getcoinmoving and #everycoincounts hashtags
    • Emphasize how impactful a $100, $300, or $500 redemption could be
    • Utilize connections you have in local schools to raise awareness among children and families
      • Refer them to the learning resources provided by the U.S. Coin Task Force
      • Start a collection campaign similar to Box Top or pop tab
Charity Coin Drive
  • Fundraise for local charities and/or causes that are important to your local community and will drive traffic for you
    • If you usually do one at another time of year, consider moving it to the fall
    • If you use an armored carrier service, collaborate with them on the timing.
    • Consider the retailer matching all or a portion of coin deposits to charity.
  • If organizations have standing in-kind drives (pajamas for foster kids, school supplies fill the bus, angel tree, etc.), consider adding a coin collection mechanism as well.
    • (i.e., Instead of the customer shopping, “We’ll do the shopping for you, consider donating your change for a good cause.”
  • Be creative with signage and collection methods
    • Consider signage in parking lots and on your website if you provide curbside pickup services to advertise your novel coin acceptance methods.
    • Set aside a specific parking spot for coin donations
    • Offer curbside pickup for coin donations and provide a dedicated phone number for customers to call
    • Provide a contactless drop off for customers (i.e., coin transported in the trunk or back seat, gloves and mask required for the pickup, etc.)
  • Consult with your legal team on appropriate handling of donations.
Employee Coin Drives
  • The U.S. Coin Task Force has developed a toolkit for retailers interested in conducting an employee coin drive. An employee coin drive will help with the underlying coin circulation problem and is a great way to pilot your ability to accept, store and recirculate coins. The U.S. Coin Task Force invites retailers to use this toolkit and customize it to meet their needs and capabilities.
    • How-to guides for running an employee coin drive, including providing associates with ideas for how to redeem coin. The guide should include:
    • Emphasize the importance of turning their coin in and stress that every coin counts (leverage signage here)
    • Identify if coins are for charity donation or redemption for cash value
    • If for charity, can you make this a part of a larger company giving campaign already in place?
    • Have a plan for once the coins are received. 
    • Offer incentives or prizes for the most coin redeemed
    • Give a prize for the location or store manager who had the most engagement (lunch, pizza party, ice cream, gift certificates, etc.)
    • Be sensitive to socioeconomic status of different employees (if awarding a prize) and be sure to include your legal team in planning discussions
    • Use this campaign to test your organization’s ability to intake coin and test your procedures
    • If you are working remote, you could pilot a curbside coin collection, or other ideas for collection.
    • If you are redeeming employee coins, do you have automated coin counters you can use? Or your own coin recycling machines?
    • Additionally, if you are exchanging coins for cash, make sure you have adequate protocols for distributing the cash
    • Have a plan for once you have the coins
    • Will you recycle them internally for use in stores?
    • If so, have a plan for distributing them
    • Will you deposit them at your Financial Institution?
    • If depositing, make sure you coordinate with your armored carrier for pick up
    • How do they want to receive the coins? Loose or rolled?

(Linked) Provide template for donating 7% of coin returned to charity.

Sample In-Store Coin Announcement

Retailers and their customers often have many questions regarding the disruptions in our coin supply. The U.S. Coin Task Force developed some sample scripting retailers can use to engage with their customers on this issue. Below are sample scripts for intercom announcements that retailers can use to both educate their customers and engage them to help improve coin circulation. We have also included a sample script associates can use when speaking with customers at checkout. We encourage retailers to use these and customize them to your needs.

  • Hi, this is (store manager, CEO, etc), thank you for shopping at (store name).  Did you know many of your neighbors rely on cash to purchase their groceries?  Due to COVID-19, we are facing real challenges accessing coins.  You can help your neighbors by paying for your groceries with exact change, depositing them at your bank or redeeming them at a coin kiosk at the front of our store(if you have coin kiosks in your store) (retailers can fill in other ways they are accepting coins here).  Together, we can get coin moving, and remember, every penny counts! Thank you for shopping at (store name).
  • Hi, this is (store associate, manager, CEO etc).  Do you have a jar or bowl collecting nickels and dimes? We want your coins!  Due to COVID-19 we are facing real challenges accessing enough coins to make change for our customers who pay with cash.  While the problem sounds big, the solution is simple.  On your next trip to (fill in store name), bring that cup or jar full of coins (fill in where and how, kiosk, rolled or loose to customer service, to a cashier) and we will give you cash for your coins. Together we can get coin moving, and remember, every penny counts! Thank you for shopping at (store name). 
  • Options
    • If you are able to accept coins curbside, you can add that as an option for customers to bring coins to the store without coming in.
    • If you are offering incentives, such as free products, or loyalty points, lead with that. Sample Incentive Script:
      • Hi, this is (store manager, CEO, etc.), thank you for shopping at (store name).  (Company Name) is offering (insert incentive) for our customers who bring in coin for redemption.  Due to COVID-19, we are facing real challenges accessing enough coins.  You can help get coin moving and (earn loyalty points, get a free coffee) at the same time.  Just bring (fill in details, do they need to be rolled or loose? Of a certain value? Where to bring them, customer service, kiosk, register?) and go home with (whatever the reward is).  Remember, every penny counts! Thank you for shopping at (store name).
Sample materials and signage

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Financial Institutions

Improving Coin Acceptance Capabilities
  • Rent equipment to count coins
    • Call a coin aggregator to see what equipment they may have for rent or what special promotions they may have
    • Call a vendor who sells coin machines to see what equipment they may have for rent or purchase.  Both countertop and floor model coin counters are available.
  • Encourage customers to drop off coin to be counted later
    • Call your financial institution or retailer to set up an appointment to meet someone in the parking lot or in the lobby to drop off loose coin.  The coin can be counted at a later time and the fund deposited into an account, given through a cash redemption voucher, or loaded onto a loyalty card.
  • Keep an open line of communication with an armored carrier company
    • Work through a retailer or financial institution if someone has a large sum of coins to be counted. Provide assistance bringing the coins into the retailer or financial institution, if needed.
  • Make coin wrap kits available
    • Retailers and financial institutions can offer coin wrappers to their customers
    • A $50 kit would include 3 Quarter wrappers, 3 Dime wrappers, 2 Nickle wrappers and 2 Penny wrappers. 
    • See the Coin Wrap Guide for reference as to how many coins go in each roll
  • Accept deposits from non-customers
    • Social Medial posts, on hold messages, and flyers in each location can encourage non-customers to redeem coin.
    • Encourage customer service representatives to be sure to get identification from non-customers in the event they need to be contacted regarding their coin
    • Promotions can be held where non-customers receive a free drink, snack, promotional item or a financial incentive for bringing in coin. 
    • Disclose any fee that may be charged to customers and non-customers for accepting their coin.  Consider waiving the fee, if applicable, for non-customers. 
Coin Campaigns – Consumer and Employee
  • Encourage coin use
  • Signage
    • Use customizable signage to inform customers of the coin disruption.
    • Encourage customers to use exact change to help retailers and other customers who rely on cash transactions
  • Script for employees at customer facing locations when performing transactions.
    • “The pandemic has caused a disruption in coin circulation. Coins that were being used at retailers and vending machines are now sitting in piggy banks and change jars. We are working to get those pennies and dimes back into circulation.”
      • If the FI accepts loose change at the branch.
        • “We accept loose change for deposit and you don’t even have to wrap it.  Bring it in and we can count it for you and deposit it to your account or give you cash in exchange for it.”
        • If the FI is providing an incentive (bank branded giveaways or financial compensation) include the details.
      • If the FI requires wrapped coin at the branch.
        • “We have coin wrappers for you to take home.  The next time you visit the branch, bring the wrapped coin in and we can deposit it to your account or give you cash in exchange.”
        • If the FI is providing an incentive (bank branded giveaways or financial compensation) include the details.
      • If the FI cannot accept coin for deposit.
        • “We can’t accept coin here at this time, but please use exact change when you do pay with coin.”
        • “Consider redeeming your coins at a coin kiosk. There are options to trade your coins in for gift cards with no fee attached.”
    • When cashing checks for consumers…
      • “Would you like us to deposit the change to your account to help get more coins into circulation? It will help our retail customers serve their customers.”
  • Script for telephone hold recordings
    • “The pandemic has caused a disruption in coin circulation.  Coins that were being used at retailers and vending machines are now sitting in piggy banks and change jars.  We are working to get those pennies and dimes back into circulation. Paying with exact change is one way to help. Another way to help is cash in your piggy bank.”
      • “Please bring your loose change into any branch [or at designated locations].  You don’t have to wrap it.  We will count it for you and deposit to your account or exchange it for cash.” Or;
      • “We accept wrapped coins for deposit or exchange.  The next time you are in a branch ask for a coin wrapping kit that you can use on your next visit.” Or;
      • “We can’t accept coin at our locations at this time, but please consider using a coin kiosk for redemption. There are options to trade your coin in for gift cards with no fee.”
Sample materials and signage

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Learning Resources for Kids and Families

There’s plenty we can do to #getcoinmoving and get our change jars back into circulation.

While you and your family are counting coins, we’ve also created some fun and educational activities that you can enjoy together.

Resources Description Ages
Coin Rubbing and Matching (PDF) Create colorful coins with this coin rubbing and matching activity! 3+
Coin Supply Discussion (PDF) Use this guide with your kids to talk about recent news reports of a coin scarcity. 3+
Design Your Own Coin (PDF) Put your creative talents to work. Create your own coin with this hands-on activity. 4+
Coin Scavenger Hunt Bingo Game (PDF) Go on a scavenger hunt for coins and see if you can fill out the bingo card! 5+
Test Surface Tension (PDF) Have you ever noticed that when it rains, water forms as droplets on surfaces instead of spreading out? This is because of surface tension. Use coins to learn more about surface tension! 7+
Dollars and Dice (PDF) Think you can out-count your opponent? Find out in the multi-player activity. Roll the dice—the first player to reach exactly one dollar wins. 10+
Financial Inclusion Parent Discussion Guide (PDF) This guide can help you start a conversation about financial inclusion and how cash is the most inclusive payment option. Teens

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Supply Chain Background

The coin supply chain “Back End” is comprised of the Federal Reserve Bank, Depository Institutions, Armored Carriers, and other coin processors, and enables the movement of coin in the American economy for retailers, merchants, and the public. Elements include the transportation, distribution, storage, and verification of coin to ensure healthy commerce and acceptance of cash payments. The US Mint supports the coin supply chain as the issuing authority by managing the production of new coin to supplement recirculated coin.

Traditionally, the Federal Reserve distributes new coin on behalf of the U.S. Mint to the nation’s network of banks and financial institutions. This includes the bulk purchase of coin in the form of orders, and bulk sale of coin in the form of deposits. These banks in turn supply coin to, and receive coin from, individual and business customers with accounts at their institutions. Organizations may conceivably be net “users” or net “producers” of coin based on their service lines and client composition. Additionally, banks govern the receipt of coin from customers and the American public differently. For example, some banks limit coin acceptance, and some mandate conditions for acceptance (i.e. wrapped only wrapped condition).

Armored Carriers transact the physical aspects of the coin services described above. This includes collection and delivery, verification of value upon receipt, general preparation of orders by wrapping coin into rolls, and maintenance of inventories owned by the Federal Reserve and banks. It is customary for Armored Carriers to manage coin inventories on a “per customer” basis, meaning multiple coin inventories owned by different institutions are co-located at the same site(s). Armored Carrier sites may be net “users” or net “producers” of coin. However, no mechanism exists to aggregate or communicate inventory levels beyond an individual account basis. In some markets, it is common for Armored Carriers to facilitate “self-circulation” arrangements for bank customers, further challenging inventory visibility.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and other recent societal challenges, data indicates coin reentering the supply chain has decreased by approximately half, although demand has not appreciably changed. The result of this circumstance is an inability to reasonably accommodate current coin ordering demand with existing available supply. This circulation issue exists throughout the United States, with some speculating it is most pronounced in certain regions. As a result, US retailers are having trouble making change for customers paying with cash.

Supply Chain Limitations

Acceptance

A combination of factors presently impedes the basic redemption of coin by consumers. Although self-service aggregator kiosks are often available at food retailers and drug stores, traditional redemption points inside bank lobbies are currently challenged due to the transition to drive-up only services resulting from the pandemic, temporary and permanent location closures due to COVID-19 and civil unrest, and bank strategic initiatives to deemphasize coin acceptance in general. Sometimes, the criteria for depositing coin can even change between locations of the same institution. Insofar as the consumer and retail facing arms of branch banking are not equipped to systematically receive coin, alternatives can be assessed and effectively communicated externally.

Visibility

Although many banks utilize the Federal Reserve’s cash services to fulfil customer coin needs, there is no obligation to report inventory levels as a condition of access. As a result, the Federal Reserve does not have visibility into existing supply outside of its own inventories. Furthermore, Armored Carriers do not observe any formalized framework for sharing collective inventory levels at their sites, leading to potential regionalization of circulation challenges resulting from extenuating factors like business concentration, operating rules, and customer-vendor relationships. Impacts of this opaqueness include the costly and inefficient intra-organizational movement of coin, and the possibility of hoarding behavior (holding more coin inventories than necessary to meet customer demand).

Collaboration

Insofar as any provider is a net “producer” of coin, there is opportunity for collaboration to accelerate coin (re)circulation and protect the integrity of coin supply chain. However, because it is not systematized for institutions to cooperate outside their organizations, more cost effective and logistically streamlined alternatives are often overlooked despite their viability. Where instances of successful inter-organizational partnership do exist, it is via informal relationships, and these solutions do not endure when personnel change over time. Depository Institutions and Armored Carriers do not observe any formalized routine for communicating excess inventory to the most proximate party in need (i.e. other Depository Institutions co-located at the same Armored Carrier site).

Capacity

Parties within the coin supply chain, typically Armored Carriers, are generally concerned about coin receipts exceeding capacity when the current circulation challenge is stabilized, and usage patterns return to normal. Given the large amount of coin that has been paid out to circulation to offset the lack of circulation during the pandemic, there is concern that when circulation returns, there will be a great deal of coin that will be returned, causing needs for large storage capacity. This worry generally surrounds insurance and vault space considerations as Armored Carriers hold inventories for banks and the Federal Reserve in various locations. It is possible that efforts to promote revitalized coin circulation will not realize their full potential without sufficiently treating questions about the supply chain’s capacity to warehouse an influx of coin greater than the existing infrastructure model may allow. 

Toolkit Objectives

  • Develop best practices to promote coin (re)circulation
  • Decrease barriers for handling coin in the supply chain
  • Maximize equitable access and emphasize financial inclusion

Toolkit Recommendations

Inventory Management
  • What: guidance to maintain reasonable levels of coin inventory based on payable need (customer demand), and moderate coin ordering accordingly to mitigate supply chain stress and improve overall visibility.
  • How: industry-level best practices for identifying appropriate “days payable” levels of internally-owned inventory per denomination at vault location(s) – both insourced and outsourced sites – and formal encouragement of deposits to Federal Reserve of excess inventories.
  • Why: improve overall visibility and capture regional and institutional variances to
    1. Prioritize supply based on need
    2. Identify potentially faster and more efficient inventory sources to leverage
    3. Target Mint production shipments to sites in greatest need. More robust inventory visibility can also address certain industry capacity concerns surrounding adequate infrastructure and vault space, but recognize it is not a short term alternative.
  • Who: US Coin Task Force and Federal Reserve endorsement of healthy inventory management practices.
Excess Balance Exchanges
  • What: exchange of excess coin balances between institutions at co-located vault sites and/or in the same metropolitan area to maximize local market recirculation.
  • How: establish settlement template, sample “excess” calculator, and communications matrix for connecting net coin “producing” organizations with net coin “using” organizations, operating in shared markets.
  • Why: optimize circulation efficiency by more efficiently aligning excess supply with nearest situated sources of demand to
    1. Mitigate unnecessary overloading of correspondent bank coin services infrastructure
    2. Alleviate allocation protocols by stabilizing markets with locally sufficient supplies
    3. Reduce friction around deposit-generating activities by increasing overall local area order fulfillment capacity. A formalized framework for inter-party cooperation is more cost effective, efficient, and less concentrated than singular reliance on the Federal Reserve for coin.
  • Who: Armored Carriers managing co-located vendor vault sites for banks, and Armored Carriers operating in shared markets.
Branch Acceptance Best Practices

What: simplified messaging and streamlined criteria for bank branch-level customer coin redemption options and alternatives for physical coin collection.

How: coin deposit policies presented transparently to bank customers via existing communications channels, and internal bank policy education/communications to promote consistent bank staff awareness and understanding.

Why: reduce barriers to public coin redemption resulting from acceptance disparity among banks and lack of public awareness around bank-specific coin redemption conditions to

  1. Successfully facilitate consumer-facing coin circulation campaigns
  2. Emphasize financial inclusion within operations
  3. Leverage existing opportunities for bank-located coin redemption alternatives to retail-facing kiosks. Although banks are not required to directly promote coin handling as a business unit, greater transparency around active coin deposit options is helpful to coin circulation on both a short and long term basis.

Who: Banks, including small, medium, and large organizations.

Coin Terminal/Depot Policy Review
  • What: multilateral examination of existing Coin Terminal policies and procedures governing the management of offsite coin inventories.
  • How: analysis of operating guidelines for potential areas of improvement to safeguard transferability, transparency, and accuracy of outsourced coin supplies.
  • Why: reduce potential supply chain chokepoints to ensure vault-level operating procedures promote equal access and balanced market circulation. Possible areas of innovation include
    1. Site review methodologies
    2. Wrapped vs. unwrapped product ratios for movement flexibility
    3. Coin depositing conditions to maximize recirculation opportunities. Dialogue about vault site capacity limitations can also be included to best manage any significantly amplified inbound volumes.
  • Who: Federal Reserve and Armored Carriers managing Coin Terminals and Coin Depots.
Continued Coin Allocation Monitoring
  • What: periodic and recurring review of Federal Reserve allocation prescriptions, including both denomination-specific order limitations and Depository Institution sizing classification.
  • How: examination of present coin supply and demand developments, and inventory positions to ultimately facilitate the timely phase-out of order allocation limits when the supply chain rebalances.
  • Why: recognizing that the coin allocations are not ideal for customer banks, responsibly advance a gradual return to paying out coin to meet customer demand. Additionally, consider
    1. Allocation relief on a regionalized basis if appropriate
    2. Accounting for business-based changes to coin need unfolding since 2019 modeling comparison. Successful industry dialogue and continued engagement across supply chain partners is recommended in conjunction with shared data for cross-analysis. Commitment to monitor allocations is conditioned on responsible user behavior, including bank and Armored Carriers abstaining from “hoarding” behaviors.
  • Who: Federal Reserve and bank customers via industry engagement channels.

Conclusion

The toolkit themes and recommendations included herein are not directed at any singular organization. They are designed to collectively protect the integrity of the US coin supply chain and promote the overall resilience and opportunities for accelerated coin (re)circulation in the marketplace. The work of this subgroup is attributable to industry representatives represented on the Coin Task Force, being mindful of the importance of coin to free commerce, financial inclusion, and the public good.

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