There is a big debate going on about cashless societies. There are those of us who are very much in favour of digitalisation but also see cash as being a viable option for many people and businesses.
A bank is paying people to bring in their spare change to help local businesses amid the coin shortage
A Wisconsin bank is bringing change to their community by helping local businesses struggling because of the nationwide shortage of coins caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, the Community State Bank launched a Coin Buy Back Program which offers a $5 bonus for every $100 worth of coins turned in to any of its seven locations. Anyone who brings by coins, whether they’re a bank customer or not, can receive up to a maximum coin bonus of $500.
“We knew we needed to figure something out. We hate the idea of telling our customers, ‘No, we can’t give you one of the services we’re proud to provide,’ so we came up with a creative way to get things done,” Community State Bank Vice President Neil Buchanan told CNN. “Just because this hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it isn’t going to work — and it has already made a huge difference.”
Just days after launching the program, hundreds of people have dropped off their spare change, already resulting in an “incredible impact” on local businesses that were struggling because of the shortage, according to Buchanan.
Customers are not being charged for any coin counting transactions and will receive their money in cash or as direct deposits. Many have also dropped off spare coins without asking for anything back.
Cashless, Cash or Barter?
This move by the bank highlights the question; should we become a cashless society and if we do, how do we protect the unbanked and underbanked. I understand the move towards digitalisation but we need to make sure we don’t put at risk the less advantaged to whom cash is important. Digital transactions are not free, they come at a cost and these costs are in the non-Bank domain. Who’s going to regulate to ensure we’re playing a fair game!
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