back to article Ireland moves to scrap 1 and 2 cent coins

Ireland is moving to eliminate diminutive 1 and 2 euro cent coins with the introduction of "coin rounding", which will see cash transactions rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents. Following a successful 2013 trial in Wexford, the plan will roll out across the Emerald Isle on 28 October. Rounding is entirely voluntary, both …

  1. cambsukguy

    Finland did this ages ago

    Such a relief not to piss about with useless coinage.

    Come on the UK/England, let's catch up with the progressive countries.

    We did the plastic bag thing eventually, let's go all the way.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Finland did this ages ago

      > progressive

      You are right about that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Finland did this ages ago

        Why not go further and eliminate 5p coins as well?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Finland did this ages ago

          "Why not go further and eliminate 5p coins as well?"

          Morrisons supermarkets have eliminated some coins. The new automatic tills being installed/upgraded do not give 50p or 10p coins in change, but they do accept them. Fucking stupid if you ask me.

    2. Brian T

      Re: Finland did this ages ago

      Finland and the Netherlands. The Dutch shops didn't dump the old .99c prices, just round up or down at the check-out on the total. Which often works in the shops' favour... I leave it to the student to work out why (hint - buying patterns).

      1. Tezfair
        WTF?

        Re: Finland did this ages ago

        I discovered this by accident when I was in Holland with the dutchside of the family. I paid for something and was expecting change, arm out and the shop owner looking at me. Very odd situation to be in. Sister in law forgot to tell me and found it amusing.

    3. Mondo the Magnificent
      Devil

      Re: Finland did this ages ago

      So did The Netherlands...

      It literally takes Dutch courage to pay with anything smaller than a 5c piece there...

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Finland did this ages ago

        >It literally takes Dutch courage to pay with anything smaller than a 5c piece

        The Dutch have always had a thing about minimising the number of coins given in change, even long before the Euro. Whereas in the UK its fairly common just to hand over a note and expect to be given the appropriate change unless they'd run out, I found that you'd get a rather stern look from a Dutch cashier if you attempted to do the same thing and a request for additional coins: "heb je een stuiver/dubbeltje/kwartje erbij". And actually very sensible since you don't end up wandering round with groaning pockets and the shops don't have to carry such large floats.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Finland did this ages ago

          And actually very sensible since you don't end up wandering round with groaning pockets and the shops don't have to carry such large floats.

          From what you write, sounds like the thieves still price to odd small numbers, but have no plan on giving you the exact change unless it happens to "round" to five cents. Why don't the EU just introduce the new eurocent, of which there are twenty per euro? Of course, doesn't sit well with their decimal obsessions, but that's a problem they've allowed to occur by not controlling the money supply.

          1. Steve Knox

            Re: Finland did this ages ago

            Why don't the EU just introduce the new eurocent, of which there are twenty per euro?

            That would be the euroviginti.

      2. John Riddoch

        Re: Finland did this ages ago

        I remember NL pre-euro - ISTR shops had prices in all odd numbers, but once at the till, they rounded to the nearest 5 cents.

    4. dorsetknob
      Coat

      Re: Finland did this ages ago

      Your either too young or too stupid not to remember decimilasion In Britain when Prices WERE ALWAYS ROUNDED UP NEVER DOWN..................... Not a Good move for the Consumer

      Your only excuse Might be is that your not British

      Damm i know there is a one pence in this pocket somewhere

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Your either too young or too stupid

        "Give more, get change"

        And learn the difference between your and you're before you quit university to become a coder.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Your either too young or too stupid

          "And learn the difference between your and you're before you quit university to become a coder."

          I agree with the first part but a little thought would sow that someone who remembers decimalisation in the UK is probably a little old to be at University. It may help you work this out if I point out that my kids, neither or whom was born at the time, have been out of University for nigh on a couple of decades.

          1. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: Your either too young or too stupid

            Nonononono.

            It was advice to the new student, not the geezer with the dulcet tones of The Scaffold still ringing in his ears.

            But if we are recommending "little thoughts" might I just suggest that a mature man or woman can continue their formal education into later years if they so desire? The American course structuring makes this more palatable than the disappointingly still prevalent British Three Year Wodge O' Learnin', but there are other options than University even then.

            Or are you like the young men that surround me at work, convinced that a sixty year old is past it good and proper brains wise? Because if so, I have to tell you that on an IBM course I attnded last week it was the under forties who were slowing things to a crawl with monumental levels of shirt-thickness, every man jack of them armed with a shiny CS degree still piping hot from the oven.

      2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Finland did this ages ago

        That's wrong, I've still got a currency conversion chart from 1971.

        1d -> 0.5p rounded up 0.0.833p

        2d -> 1p rounded up 0.166p

        3d -> 1p rounded down 0.25p

        4d -> 1.5p rounded down 0.166p

        5d -> 2p rounded down 0.0833p

        6d -> 2.5p exact

        7d -> 3p rounded up 0.0833p

        8d -> 3.5p rounded up 0.166p

        9d -> 3.5p rounded down 0.25p

        10d -> 4p rounded down 0.166p

        11d -> 4.5p rounded down 0.0833p

        12d -> 5p exact

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Finland did this ages ago

          "That's wrong, I've still got a currency conversion chart from 1971."

          Yeah, that was the legal definitions for the conversion. But the prices still all went up.

  2. Paul Herber Silver badge

    Maybe it's about time UK petrol and diesel prices were rounded to the nearest 1p instead of this stupid 108.9p/litre!

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Unless you're buying less than 10 litres of petrol, it makes no difference. Think of it as £10.89/10l.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "this stupid 108.9p/litre"

      Morrisons Diesel is 107.7p 'round here :-)

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    backdoor inflation

    You will find that this means that all retailers will round the prices up instead of rounding transactions at the till.

    The introduction of euro itself was an example of this - all prices were rounded up when being converted from Lira, Peso or whatever other currency the country was abandoning at the time.

    1. Robin

      Re: backdoor inflation

      If it means we lose the silly '9.99' or '2.49' thing in the supermarkets, which presumably nobody falls for any more, then I wouldn't mind that.

      Also the euro-introduction rounding was a little different, as it relied on people not really knowing what the price should be without calculating everything. If my 2.98 pack of burgers or whatever suddenly costs 3.50, then it would be more obvious.

      1. Timbo

        Re: backdoor inflation

        "If it means we lose the silly '9.99' or '2.49' thing in the supermarkets, which presumably nobody falls for any more, then I wouldn't mind that."

        I quite agree....however, some shops use the number of pence as an indicator to shop staff about whether a product is "new", "on special offer" or "discontinued"....so, a price ending in .99 might be for "new", .97 might be for an "offer" and .94 might mean "discontinued".

        Given that more people are using credit,. debit or swipe cards (and the likelihood is that this will continue - even Aldi now accept credit cards), I can see a "coin less" future is heading nearer and nearer :)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: backdoor inflation

          "even Aldi now accept credit cards"

          You just noticed? First time you've been in for a decade or so?

      2. Brenda McViking

        Re: backdoor inflation

        Oh people fall for it alright. I used to do reductions in my local supermarket.. Put a sticker of a £1 or 50p on an item and you're left with half a shelf full at 22:00 which you have to chuck. make it 99p or 49p and there's none left by 19:00.

        It's all psychology, and it works, which is why it's done.

      3. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: backdoor inflation

        "If it means we lose the silly '9.99' or '2.49' thing in the supermarkets, "

        Unfortunately it doesn't. We've had this in Stralya longer than I've been here and stuff is still priced at X.99. Hell, we even have sofas marked at $2,999.99!

        1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: backdoor inflation

          We've had this in Stralya [sic] longer than I've been here and stuff is still priced at X.99. Hell, we even have sofas marked at $2,999.99!

          Psychological pricing is never going away, no matter the smallest denomination of whichever currency you're using. The price also only needs to be rounded if you use cash, otherwise it's still charged to the cent.

          The more pertinent fact here is that the Australian sky didn't collapse 24 years ago when we ditched the old copper 1c and 2c coins.

          And then New Zealand did away with 5c coins ten years ago and they seem to be doing fine. I wish we would do the same.

          1. veti Silver badge

            Re: backdoor inflation

            Indeed, here in NZ the smallest coin is 10c. And things are still priced to 2 d.p.

            It's really quite rare to see people paying cash, though. EFTPOS and credit cards are king. My bank account still has an odd number of cents in it.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: backdoor inflation

      In the worst case it might mean a 49c chocolate bar becomes 50c but I suspect that for several purchases (as most purchases will be) it makes no difference. Retailers would have to round down for 1.11, 1.12 and round up for 1.13, 1.14 and so on.

      And if you were desperate to avoid the difference, you could stick it to the retailer by paying with a credit card.

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: backdoor inflation

      all prices were rounded up when being converted

      Popular myth, but that would not have been legal. The official rules about exchange rate precision and rounding forbid it:

      "The conversion rate from national currency to the euro is expressed with 6 significant figures – not to be confused with 6 decimal points – for example SIT 239.640 equals €1. When conversions are made, it is prohibited to round or truncate the conversion rate. This ensures the exactness of conversion operations.

      Once the conversion from the national currency has been made, then the euro amount can be rounded up or down to the nearest euro cent: if the number in the third decimal place is less than 5, the second decimal remains unchanged (for example, €1.264 becomes €1.26); but if the third decimal is 5 or above, then the second decimal must be rounded up, for example €1.265 becomes €1.27."

      1. ckm5

        Re: Euro transition inflation

        That may have been the law, but the reality was much, much different - I was living in NL at the time and a lot of prices went up very significantly, some as much as 50%. It was insane. People lost something like 20-30% of their income overnight. And they still have not forgiven the EU for this, which goes a long way to explaining the distrust in the EU and downvoting of various EU proposals.

        And, before you say 'you don't know what you are talking about', my wife's ex-boss was the person responsible for the introduction of the Euro in NL, even he acknowledges that there was a lot of abuse in the transition and that the general public suffered an effective income loss.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Euro transition inflation

          there was a lot of abuse in the transition

          Some, undoutedly, but did NL not do as France did, and have dual pricing for a long time? The main French supermarkets certainly listed both Franc and Euro prices, so any large discrepancies would have been obvious. Even today my French bank still quotes both currencies in statements and official documents.

    4. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: backdoor inflation

      "You will find that this means that all retailers will round the prices up instead of rounding transactions at the till"

      I guess they might, if implemented incorrectly (ie allowing shops the freedom to implement as they choose) but my experience in the Netherlands is that all shops have the pricing to the nearest cent and round at the till. When purchasing a few items together, the rounding up tends to cancel out the rounding down. With X.99 pricing, it's only rounded consistently against the consumer when buying items in 1s and 2s.

      "all prices were rounded up when being converted from Lira, Peso or whatever other currency"

      This was not my experience of the Euro changeover at all. (Although to be fair I am not aware of any studies that undoubtedly were made on the topic)

      1. imanidiot Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: backdoor inflation

        Those too anal retentive for their own good can use the rounding to their advantage as "digital" transactions (debit/credit card) are still made to the exact number of cents. So if prices at the till round UP to the nearest 5 you pay by card, if the price is rounded DOWN you pay by cash. Do this consistently over 100 times a year and you might have saved yourself a full 2 euros.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    EUROBYL: The catastrophe that just. keeps. on. giving.

    Didn't some effing arsehole recently say that "quantiative easing is working"? It's working so well that everyone is jobless, rich people are getting richer and our kids are getting a fat, fat dunning letter before even having been born. While lefties cheer on and demand more of this because they think there is this "austerity" fantasy being implemented.

    I remember getting beer for 1c. That was before the EUR though

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: EUROBYL: The catastrophe that just. keeps. on. giving.

      "I remember getting beer for 1c. That was before the WAR though"

      FTFY

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: EUROBYL: The catastrophe that just. keeps. on. giving.

        "I remember getting beer for 1c. That was before the WAR though"

        FTFY

        Which one? The War of 1812? The Hundred Years War?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: EUROBYL: The catastrophe that just. keeps. on. giving.

          Which one? The War of 1812? The Hundred Years War?

          You know how Queen Elizabeth I wasn't called that while she was queen, because at that time she was the only Queen Elizabeth there had ever been, and it was only when Queen Elizabeth II came along that the first one was given a numerical designation? Commentard James Micallef didn't specify which war, just _the_ war, so maybe he meant that at the time beer was available for only 1c there had only been one war so far. Which actually seems reasonable: it is easy to imagine that at such an early time one beer may have cost one basic unit of exchange. One beer may actually have been the basic unit of exchange.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: EUROBYL: The catastrophe that just. keeps. on. giving.

      The rounding has nothing to do with the tom-foolery and financial repression of money printing.

      It is a reaction to the financial drag imposed by the highly effective "barrier pricing" of 0.99 or 0.49. Effective because research indicates that most people think that 0.99 is significantly less than 1.00 and, therefore, people buy something for *.99 because they think it is a big discount over *+1.99. This behaviour leads to sums at the checkout requiring the expensive to process small change. Outside of Germany, where it was studied and found that people do care (and this is largely why there are 1 and 2 cent pieces), it turns out that most people are more than happy with a round-up/round-down approach.

  5. Chris Gray 1
    Thumb Up

    Works in Canada

    Canada did this a few years ago. Works great, and I doubt anyone would want to go back. And no, I've seen no indication that sellers move their prices up. The way it works here is that if you pay by some means other than cash, the price is not rounded, so we still have prices marked as $.97, etc.

    Many cash registers still show the non-rounded prices, but by now both store clerks and customers are quite used to doing the rounding in their heads.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Mike VandeVelde
      IT Angle

      Re: Works in Canada

      I always thought they should have done a currency split - issue new money: old $5 is worth new $1, old dollar is worth new 20c, old nickel is worth 1 new penny, old penny is useful for cheap flooring.

      http://adetailedhouse.com/2012/07/28/cents-and-sensibility-how-to-make-a-penny-floor/

    3. thames

      Re: Works in Canada

      People in Canada were glad to get rid of pennies. A lot of people were emptying their pockets of pennies at home because they were too much bother to carry around, so the pennies were accumulating in drawers instead of circulating. I would not want to see pennies come back.

      The coins that seem to get used the most when paying for things are loonies ($1), toonies ($2), and quarters. Nickels and dimes are what you get back in change and have to make an effort to get rid of when they accumulate too much.

      Personally, I would have been fine with dropping an entire decimal place. Nickles (5 cents) will likely go the way of the penny eventually. The only problem with that would be what to do about quarters (25 cents), perhaps simply declare them to be worth 20 cents?

      1. Michael Strorm

        Re: Works in Canada

        "A lot of [Canadians] were emptying their pockets of pennies at home because they were too much bother to carry around, so the pennies were accumulating in drawers instead of circulating."

        That's *exactly* what I do with 1p and 2p coins. They're bloody useless.

  6. ratfox Silver badge
    Go

    Makes sense

    Switzerland's smallest used coin has been 5 cent of a Franc (more or less equal to 5 Euro cent) for 30 years, and even those feel like a waste of time to keep around in your wallet.

    Strangely, Wikipedia claims the 1 cent coin was still struck until 2006, even though item prices have been rounded to 5 cents practically everywhere since the eighties.

    Switzerland also seems to have the most valuable coin in circulation: 5 Swiss francs, a bit more than £3.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Makes sense

      Switzerland also seems to have the most valuable coin in circulation: 5 Swiss francs, a bit more than £3.

      5 Euro coins exist, but are rarely seen.

      1. Wilseus

        Re: Makes sense

        "5 Euro coins exist, but are rarely seen."

        The same is true for £5 coins.

      2. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: Makes sense

        Commemorative £5 coins are legal tender, even if retailers might not know it and refuse them. That currently equals €6.84.

        Any further advances?

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: Makes sense

          The Irish mint recently produced a €10 commemorative celebrating Joseph McLaughlin, aka Josef Locke, the renowned operatic singer. The choice of denomination shows that they like a bad pun as much as the rest of us...

          Coins like these are legal tender (you'd be nuts... they cost about €20 to buy), but are never circulated, so I think the five-franc's crown (heh) is safe.

          1. JetSetJim Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Makes sense

            Shocked to find a C$1M coin!

        2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: Makes sense

          Any further advances?

          Yes!...

          ...

          ...However.

          Edit: I see that Canada got there first.

          I bet some long-fallen empire had some crazy coinage.

        3. Julian Bradfield

          Re: Makes sense

          £100 Britannia coins are legal tender, too.

      3. Modeller

        Re: Makes sense

        "5 Euro coins exist, but are rarely seen."

        No, there are no €5 coins, unless you count special commemorative coins.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Makes sense

          No, there are no €5 coins, unless you count special commemorative coins.

          Really? I have one in my hand right now, a 2008 French €5 coin, cost €5 in a French post office. It's one like this: http://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces3606.html

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Makes sense

      <i>Switzerland also seems to have the most valuable coin in circulation: 5 Swiss francs, a bit more than £3.</i>

      And if you're lucky enough to stumble on the few remaining silver CHF5 coins, they're worth quite a bit more than that!

    3. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Makes sense

      "Switzerland also seems to have the most valuable coin in circulation: 5 Swiss francs, a bit more than £3."

      Krugerrands are way more valuable.

  7. zb

    Two cent coin

    I wouldn't give two cents for one of those

    Just my 2c

  8. hekla

    Australia did the a quarter century ago

    The one- and two-cent coins were discontinued in 1991

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Australia did the a quarter century ago

      Round that to the nearest 50 years please...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Over here in the USA's ear, there's only the 1c and stores often don't have any so just round it.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Americans put plenty of stock in pennies. "A penny saved is a penny earned." "Give-A-Penny, Take-A-Penny", piggy banks, etc. Plus many Americans seem to take pride in penny-pinching and nailing the total to the penny.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        We hold on to them hoping that the price of copper climbs a bit higher... Old pennies that is as they had a lot of copper. The new ones, not so much.

      2. Queasy Rider

        I love Give-A-Penny, Take-A-Penny. A great way to get rid of loose change in my pocket, and avoid getting more when I am only short a few coins to have the exact money for those many small transactions I often have nearly every day.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Penny wise...

          pound foolish.

          Except in America, it would be cent wise dollar foolish. But that sounds silly.

          So it's British?!

  10. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Meh

    Doesn't matter as most people pay by card anyway

    First they came for the totals, and I did not speak up because I thought it was a good idea...

    Then they came for the individual product prices at 49c and 99c, and I did not speak up...

    Then I realised they'd rounded them all up.

    Bugger.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Doesn't matter as most people pay by card anyway

      That kinda got ruined in America because most states insist on pre-tax pricing (yes, a legal requirement) so that sales taxes can't be hidden away. As a result, the final cent tally is all over the map and so is the rounding.

  11. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Works in Chile too

    Similar thing in Chile, where the peso is currently worth about 0.1 p - in the supermarket they ask you if you want the pesos in your change, and if not, they round the change down to 10 pesos, and the balance of odd pesos goes to a charity account.

    Can be a bit tricky if your spanish is a bit ropey, as sometimes they ask if you want the odds to go to charity, so a 'no' reply is the reverse of the previous one, and makes you look like a real tightwad!

    Things are still priced in exact pesos of course, so you still get the $799 prices.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A prime number?

    So they produced a prime number of cents coins? That's odd (by definition, even).

    http://www.numbersaplenty.com/245445931

    1. Daniel Hall

      Re: A prime number?

      It is also a happy number, cant be too bad being prime and happy..

  13. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Can we do this, and also scrap £1 and £2 coins and introduce notes instead please?

    I hate coins, but it's not really feasible to have 10p notes.

    1. jason 7

      I know your game! Mr Lapdance club!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      China's smallest notes are of 0.1 yuan (1 jiao), which is worth about 1.3 cent of €.

    3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      In those denominations notes would be more costly since while coins cost more to produce individually but are cheaper when amortized over the average lifespan which for small notes is roughly 18 - 24 months where coins last 25-35 years. In other words, the government isn't likely to spend more money to make things more convenient for anyone else. Sure, one might argue that shuffling the extra weight of coins uses more fuel, is more costly, heats the planet, kills wildlife, etc. but we'll likely be living in a cash free society before any government bean counter even notices, perhaps once they've upgraded that last Windows Server 2003 box.

    4. Mike VandeVelde
    5. veti Silver badge

      Do you not remember the £1 note? A scrappy, tatty, sorry, worn little thing it was. The £1 coin was a big improvement.

      The very first £1 coins were minted in 1983. Occasionally, if you keep your eyes open, you can still see one dating all the way back to that year, still in circulation. Try that with banknotes.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Ah yes, the pound coin...

        I remember that being introduced. We called it "The Maggie"; small, brassy and thought it was a sovereign.

    6. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      I've still got a handful of Hong Kong 1c notes from when they abolished sub-10c coins. They were needed so that if you closed your bank account you were able to get the exact amount in "cash".

      1. Fonant

        Me too. Collect ten and you could buy a "penny chew" from the sweet shop! A HK dollar was worth around 10p, so a 1 cent note was worth about a tenth of a UK penny.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But think of the children

    So they'll get no change effectively making their penny sweet actually 5c

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: But think of the indignation

      How hard is this going to make life for people who like to do those protest payments to pay their fines?

      1. John 62

        Re: But think of the indignation

        In the UK, small coins are only legal tender* in small amounts. £1 coins are legal tender in any amount, though!

        http://www.royalmint.com/aboutus/policies-and-guidelines/legal-tender-guidelines

        * Legal tender in the UK actually only has a narrow meaning and in the vast majority of cases it is up to the parties in a transaction to negotiate how payment will be made. But it does apply to most monetary fine situations, so I suspect Legal Tender law was established to prevent people making a nuisance of themselves by paying fines in silly denominations.

  15. Groaning Ninny

    France did this yonks ago....

    In pre Euro days I recall there being no 1 or 2 centime coins. I did see an item in a supermarket priced at some francs and 97 centimes, which I bought, hoping to see some very tiny coins, but no - rounding took place.

    I only hope that when I buy a penny sweet with a five pence piece I get five pence change. Now that'd be fine rounding ;-)

  16. Haku

    I wonder if they'll do it to UK currency

    Because my 1p+2p coin 'jar' now weighs over 21kg...

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: I wonder if they'll do it to UK currency

      I empty mine out periodically and stick it into its own savings account. Currently standing at £363.

      When it gets to £500 it will all go to charity, probably when a friend does a sponsored something or other.

    2. JulieM Silver badge

      Re: I wonder if they'll do it to UK currency

      Well, you're doing it wrong.

      Every time your change jar reaches £1, take out all the small change and replace it with an actual pound coin. Then get rid of the low-denomination coins at your local corner shop. You can get the exact amount ready while waiting to be served. Shops don't actually mind having change, and it's only going to be offloaded on the next customer anyway. If you are unlucky enough to work in a place where the only approximations to beverages are available from a vending machine, they are also ideal for getting rid of small change. But do actually go through the motions of saving it up until you have £1 worth, otherwise you will never build up that handy little cash float.

      Back In The Day, there used to be a supermarket chain called Kwik-Save, with a branch in the (rather unsavoury) area where I used to live then. I used to add up the exact price of my purchases in my head as I shopped. I had also learned to identify coins by feel alone; and was thus able to baffle the hard-of-thinking checkout operators by pulling the exact amount straight from my pocket before they announced it. The "How the **** did you do that?" look on their faces was priceless.

  17. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    How does this work?

    In theory, someone from elsewhere in Europe that still uses 1 and 2c coins will still be able to rock up in Ireland, and pay with 1 and 2c coins, even if the price is rounded. The shops will still have to honour them, and the banks will still have to handle them (and probably repatriate them to countries that still use them).

    Extending from this, what happens if something is 0.95 euros, and the person purchasing only has 0.90 in 'sliver' and three 2c coins? Who will lose out on 1c?

    I would not have though that a country can unilaterally invalidate part of a common currency.

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: How does this work?

      Extending from this, what happens if something is 0.95 euros, and the person purchasing only has 0.90 in 'sliver' and three 2c coins? Who will lose out on 1c?

      For the moment, shoppers are allowed to ask for exact change. In this case, if the customer insists, the store has to find a 1c coin to give back the change, and if they can't I imagine that they will just accept the customer only paying 0.94 euros.

      However, this change is caused by the fact that nobody cares about such amounts. I remember a study showing that the psychological value most people give to 1c coins is actually negative, meaning that they are more trouble than they are worth.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: How does this work?

        "HI remember a study showing that the psychological value most people give to 1c coins is actually negative, meaning that they are more trouble than they are worth."

        Maybe they should have repeated the study in Yorkshire.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: How does this work?

        "However, this change is caused by the fact that nobody cares about such amounts. I remember a study showing that the psychological value most people give to 1c coins is actually negative, meaning that they are more trouble than they are worth."

        Did they ask this in America, because over here I see quite the opposite: many people taking pride in being able to nail totals to the penny, pulling out little bags of change, and so on.

  18. Bob Dole (tm)
    Coffee/keyboard

    2+1 = ??

    In order not to confuse the next generation of Consumers, the State is hereby making a correction to the Math Curriculum.

    2+1=3 is no longer True. In the New World Economy, 2+1 = 5. Say it with me, Two plus One Equals Five.

    You there, in the back, I didn't hear you. Please see the Headmaster for Corrective Measures.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2+1 = ?? @ Bob Dole (tm)

      We don't need your education! We don't need your thought control!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sweden was doing that in 1978. The total was rounded appropriately to the nearest 5 ore. In a year I never saw a bronze coin.

    The value is ripe for the UK to do it too. Very small items would be priced as they were in the 1950s. Farthings were no longer in general use - so sweet shops priced the small sweets like Blackjacks as two for a ha'penny.

  20. Tromos

    Excuse me...

    ...while I pop out to the 99p (rounded up to a pound) shop.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm just....

    Genuinely trying to rember the last time I used cash for anything. Even when my builder was finished with some landscaping I just used PayPal. He hadn't heard of it before, but showed him how and his exact words were, bless 'I'm: "Can the taxman see this?"

    Paypal now have a loyal new customer.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: I'm just....

      To which the only correct answer is "Yes, the taxman CAN see this." (Read the TOS, Paypal is a bank like any other with plenty of provisions for providing your transaction history with any authorities interested in them)

  22. Old Handle
    Joke

    Excellent...

    Now I can make unlimited purchase of 3 jelly beans each for zero cents.

  23. BernardL

    Rounding

    Unless the law's been changed since, the general rounding rule in Ireland since the euro changeover is that .49 or less rounds down, .50 or greater rounds up.

    Therefore anything with a cash price ending in 5 cent can be paid for as is, 6 cent rounds up to the next 0 and 4 cent rounds down. Theoretically. Since this scheme is voluntary, the retailer may choose to accept 5 cent for the 6 cent item.

    Also, if there's more than one item rounding has to be done once, on the total price and not on each item.

    IANAL, but that's what we were told at the time of the changeover. I ran the conversion for one small part of the postal service. We, and the Revenue, and I assume all other government departments were told - and I mean ordered, not "advised" - that a) the conversion better go perfectly, b) in strict accordance with the rules and c) no member of the public was to lose out. If there was any doubt, round in favour of the customer.

    You wouldn't get that attitude now. These days it's up to you to get away with whatever you can.

  24. Kernel Silver badge

    That explains it

    "Sweden was doing that in 1978. The total was rounded appropriately to the nearest 5 ore. In a year I never saw a bronze coin."

    In NZ the smallest coin is the 10 cent, although prices are still shown with random numbers of cents at the end - if paying by card you pay the exact price, if paying by cash it's rounded up or down using "Swedish Rounding". I've often wondered why it is called that.

  25. TheProf
    Devil

    Quids in!

    'while a 2 cent coin costs 1.94 cent to produce.'

    Hmm! Produce a million 2 cent coins, take 'em back to the bank and cash them in. 60,000 Euro profit!

    Kerching!

    'ere! Where the Euro symbol gone from my keyboard?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quids in!

      "Hmm! Produce a million 2 cent coins, take 'em back to the bank and cash them in. 60,000 Euro profit!"

      There was point in the UK when the smallest coin contained enough bronze to be worth more than its nominal value. It was also not illegal to melt them down. The 1p and 2p are now plated steel.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Quids in!

        "The 1p and 2p are now plated steel."

        As I was reminded to my cost recently when doing a till upgrade. I idly swept the rubbish off the counter, which included a couple of "copper" coins which leapt onto the magnetic security tag untagger, taking a lump of my skin with them.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Quids in!

          American pennies are only copper-clad as well (been that way since 1982). Though in our case, we tend to use zinc to avoid the problems with reacting to magnets.

      2. Expectingtheworst
        Happy

        Re: Quids in!

        It is usually cheaper to use a 1d coin than by a similar sized washer.

        Just drill the required size hole in the middle or otherwise, 2p for large ones.

  26. SharkNose

    Does anyone still use cash in Finland? My experience is that everything is bought using cards, shops are quite happy with sub €1 transactions paid on card. Finnish colleagues in Helsinki a couple of years ago couldn't remember paying with cash for some years...

  27. Pomgolian
    Childcatcher

    Downunder too

    Here is NZ and Aus, "Swedish" rounding is the norm. EFTPOS (bank card) transactions are very common and thus rounding doesn't really have much impact. Some smaller shops, convenience stores aka "dairies" have been known to round up even when paying by card. It's not enough to leave your scooter outside the dairy, nekminnit you're being overcharged. (Obscure NZ internet meme)

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In Italy, long before the Euro, the shops offered sweets for small amounts of change, although I think this was forced on them by the lack of small denomination coins or notes (where small at the time would have been anything up to 50 Lire). I'm not sure how they accounted for the common case where people declined the sweets.

    I expect it started there with the 1 and 2 Lire coins...

  29. EvaQ

    Netherlands: no cents anymore since 1983

    In the Netherlands, the guilder cent was abolished in 1980/1983. So more than 30 years ago.

    I believe the euro-cent and the two-euro-cent were there for a year or so at the introduction of the Euro, and then they were abolished again.

  30. Soruk

    Talktalk

    For some reason this reminds me of the time my folks decided to CPS their calls over TalkTalk - and they had the oddest billing system I'd ever seen.

    Individual calls were itemised to the 0.1p, with section totals (local, national, international, other/non-geo), an accurate total of these itemised calls. However, the total to be paid was based on a calculation rounding up each and every call to the next 1p, and with their rather busy phone line the bill owed was often several pounds over the total of the itemised calls as given.

    They refunded the difference when we complained, then did exactly the same the following month. And the next. And the next.

    Practical upshot is, we told them where to go and switched to another carrier.

  31. Pedigree-Pete
    IT Angle

    Oportunity.

    Can I be the 1st to register the domain name 95pstore.co.uk?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Every time..

    I see this, its because its "Too Expensive" to produce the coins, and all to often its cost more to produce the coins than the value of the coin itself..

    But nobody want to point out the "devaluation" of the currency to near worthlessness?!

    Yeah! rounding down/up is the issue here?!!

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