Goodbye Pennies?

Well in case you haven’t heard there has been a bill introduced to try to remove the penny from cash transactions in Canada. The idea is we would round up or down by the nearest $0.05 and keep pennies only for electronic transactions. The approximate savings would be $1.3 million a year.

I have to admit I rather like this idea. I can’t recall anything I can buy for a penny anymore so that implies a sort of useless part of our currency. Not to mention about 85% of my paycheck gets moved around electronically. I don’t use a lot of cash, so personally the effect of removing it from circulation would hardly be a problem for me.

So that’s my take on the penny debate.  Get rid of it already.  Oh, by the way, there is also an idea out there to produce a $5 coin.  So what do you think of all these ideas to mess with our money?

11 thoughts on “Goodbye Pennies?”

  1. I only like the idea of the 5 coin if they redesign the whole series to be smaller. For instance you shift down and make the 0.05 the same sized as a dime but silver looking (I know they aren’t silver), Then the dime now becomes the penny sized silver coin, that way the smallest coin is the smallest denomination. The quarter becomes the sized of the nickel now, the loonie becomes a quarter sized solid gold looking, the toonie moves down to loonie sized and is still inlayed, and the 5er is toonie sized, reverse colour inlayed to the toonie.

    I only really use change to buy coffee, and most of my other transactions are electronic, so I don’t see the need for the larger bills they are also contemplating, I think just the coin revamp would be fine for now.

  2. Like most people I have what seems like a whole drawer full of pennies here at my office, and a whole drawer full at home. Removing them from circulation would be a good excuse to dig them out and cash them in. Don’t understand the “emotional appeal” arguments at all (people are weird), I remember the 1/2 penny being removed years ago in Ireland and nobody seems to miss it.

    What’s the argument for the $200 bill? I had a hundred in my wallet a few weeks ago and couldn’t get anywhere to take it.

  3. It would only be worth it to the consumer if prices were rounded down (and more controls were in plce to keep retailers from rounding up a la the GST cuts).

    I also understand they want to bring 20 and 50 cent pieces into circulation.

    I don’t know – being more technologically focussed, I’d rather see the money go to improved infrastructure for electronic banking. I can appreciate that we should always have access to money in a physical form, but an e-banking system would seem to be more forward-thinking and efficient over the long run.

  4. Getting rid of the penny is long overdue… I wonder how many billions of pennies are sitting in people’s ashtrays, jars, drawers, etc?

    I appreciate the concern regarding rounding of cash transactions… but really, who makes that many cash transactions in a month to make it really matter? If you end up overcharged by $0.30 in a month, will you really notice? Retailers may receive slightly more money, but I doubt it would be prove to be very significant either. 2 cents per transaction times 1,000 transactions still isn’t very much money.

  5. They have tried this bill before and it’s failed. They will keep trying it but it will probably keep failing. I am totally for it as I find pennies annoying and I use my debit card pretty much exclusively, but I just can’t see it happening anytime in the near future.

  6. I have been refusing to take pennies for years. About time . But Chris is right. They’ve tried before. This may be the one time I’m glad the conservatives are in charge: they will not cave in to sentimentality, which is the only thing that’s kept those pennies alive!

  7. What’s the argument for the $200 bill? I had a hundred in my wallet a few weeks ago and couldn’t get anywhere to take it.

    Amen. I can’t believe the headaches I consistently have trying to spend any bill larger than a twenty, sol I really can’t see the sense in making larger denominations. It’s not like inflation has reached Zimbabwe levels in Canada and you need $8000 for a coffee and bagel.

    As far as the penny goes, I’m all for axing it. I remember when I was a kid, I was quite the Monopoly player. It didn’t take very many games for my friends and I to figure out that $1 bills were a useless hassle in that game, so we quickly got rid of them and rounded up or down in $5 increments. Even then we knew it all balanced out in the end. I think we were on to something.

    Spending all that time counting out $1’s to pay puny rents on St. Charles Place was so useless when my time was better spent building high-end hotels on Boardwalk…

  8. Perhaps with all the interest rate cuts the BoC is making they are anticipating in the near future a $200 bill will be needed for every day tasks? 😉

  9. I have to agree I dislike the idea of the $200 bill and I can hope there is a enough people in our government with common cents to get rid of the penny.

    (I know it’s a bad joke, but I couldn’t resist.)


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