Four Pennies and a Funeral

If you hadn’t already heard, Canada is phasing out the penny. Long maligned and ignored, the tiny bronze-coloured coin will no longer be distributed as of February 4th, 2013. Despite its impending doom, the penny won’t be disappearing any time soon — that is, if retailers and other institutions choose to accept it (it’s not required by law). Regardless if a merchant welcomes it or not, existing one cent coins will continue to be a valid form of payment for the time being. Retiring the penny will save Canadians an estimated $11 million a year.

The Royal Canadian Mint is asking businesses to round their cash payments, either up or down. For example, a total that comes to $9.48 would be rounded up to $9.50 where as a total of $9.42 would be rounded down to $9.40. So, any total ending in 1 or 2 will be rounded down to 0, with 3 and 4 being rounded up to 5. Totals ending in 6 and 7 will rounded down to the nearest 5 with 8 and 9 rounded up to the nearest 10. This will take some getting use to.

Transactions that are paid for with a debit card, credit card, or cheque will not have the final total rounded. Electronic transactions (e.g. bank transfers, Paypal, etc.) will not require rounding.

An example posted by the Mint:

Coffee:		$1.83
Sandwich:	$2.86
Tax (5%):	$0.23

Total:		$4.92

If you’re paying with a debit or credit card, your account will be charged $4.92. If you’re paying with cash, the total would be rounded down to $4.90 as the 92 is closer to 90.

Still have plenty of pennies lying around the house or car? You can still take them into the bank, exchange them for a wish at a fountain or well, donate them through a charity coin drive, plus many other useful applications.

For further information on the elimination visit the Royal Canadian Mint web site or call 1-800-O-CANADA (1-800-622-6232).

About Frederick Linsmeyer

A regular pop-drinking, hockey-watching, snow-shovelling Canadian, Frederick, aka Nephrus, loves his anime. Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Frederick runs amok between his hometown and the states of Washington and Texas, spending time with friends, at anime conventions and looking for some good burgers, brisket or sashimi.

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