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February 21, 2022

Canadians still penny pinching

PennyIt appears Canadians aren't ready to stop pinching their pennies quite yet.

In what could turn out to become a long goodbye, a new BMO Bank of Montreal report has found that many consumers are not ready to bid farewell to the beloved one-cent piece.

In fact, 73 per cent of those polled in the survey conducted by Pollara expect retailers to continue to accept pennies for their purchases at the check-out counter.

Since Feb. 4, retailers have been encouraged to start rounding off cash transactions either up or down depending on your purchase.

For example, when you walk into a coffee shop or other business and your cash transaction totals $1.01 or $1.02 you may be asked for $1. If it is $1.06 or $1.07 it works out to $1.05. But if your cash transaction comes to $1.03 or $1.04 you will be asked for $1.05 and if it is $1.08 or $1.09 you will be asked for $1.10. 

Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal, says, "Successful Canadian business owners not only have the products and services Canadians want, but also a strong focus on meeting the needs and expectations of their customers. With this move to phase out the penny, there can be little doubt that Canadian business will continue to do what they need to, to maintain and strengthen the important relationships they have with their customers."

The survey also found that 59 per cent of Canadians expect small businesses to adjust prices in their favour when rounding off while 57 per cent believe it should be in the retailers favour.

"As the penny is phased out, small businesses overall should not experience a noticeable difference in the number of transactions because many retailers are also set up to accept debit and credit card transactions," says Murphy. "Some small businesses may adjust their cash registers, while others may encourage their employees to round the bill manually after taxes have been added to the sub-total."

The survey also revealed that 66 per cent of those polled pay for their purchases with a debit or credit card; and 67 per cent believe they will eventually receive faster service with fewer customers wasting time counting out their change for their transactions.

By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money

Now that we have had a couple of weeks of rounding off our cash transactions under our belts, how do you feel about it? Do you use your debit card more so you don't lose pennies? Or does it matter to you?






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