National coin shortage not hurting local banks

By Chance Chamberlain

It is becoming more common around the country to find businesses that have placed signs on windows and cash registers asking customers to pay with exact change or to use debit cards as a result of a temporary coin shortage.

While a hand full of local businesses reported some problem, area banks said they have had no problem providing change for their customers.

Hawthorn Bank President Keith Asel talked about the Harrisonville branch saying, ” We have plenty of coins and we haven’t seen any difference in activity. We have experienced no supply problem at the bank level and we haven’t had any weird demands for more coins from our patrons.

“Our Drexel branch hasn’t reported any weird activity either. They only noted that the car wash has been recycling their own change so that they can serve customers. The bank itself has not experienced any change on their level.”

Sherwood Community Bank President Tracy Sloan said, “Between our four locations, we have been able to keep our supply at their normal levels.

“We have had to self-sustain through all of this and we really have had no issue ge3tting coins. We have never been a bank that places lots of coin orders. We usually move coins from location to location and it has benefitted us by keeping us in a good place through all of the uncertainty.”

Representatives from Community Bank of Harrisonville and Country Club Bank gave similar statements. Commerce bank did not return calls.

Area businesses reported mixed experiences about having change for customers.

Harrisonville Price Chopper Store Director Mark Summer said, “WE have honestly had no problem at the store with a coin shortage. We placed signs at the front of the store to inform our customers about the shortage at the national level so that they are aware of the potential problems that could come in the future.

“We are not placing any restrictions on the forms of payment for goods in the store. Customers are able to use cash like normal, but we encourage card use as well. Right now, our biggest issue isn’t even with coins, it’s with figuring out what to do about face masks.”

Assistant Manager of Discount Smokes and Liquor, Tammy Darling said, ” We have had no issues getting coins for the store or with giving out exact change to our customers. We bank with Country Club Bank and they haven’t had any issues getting us the change we need and I even asked them if they have had any problems and they said that they haven’t.”

On the other side of the coin, representatives, Minit Mart and Wendy’s said they have been affected by the coin shortage in various ways, but would not disclose details. The shortage has caused speculation that the COVID-19 outbreak is being used to help bring about a cashless society.

But the Federal Reserve announced June 11 a temporary order which placed limits on requests for all coinage.

Jerome H. Powell, a member of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System said, “Let me say what’s happened is that with the partial closure of the economy, the flow of coins through the economy has kind of stopped. We’re well aware of this. We’re working with the mint and we’re working with the reserve banks.

“As the economy begins to open up, we’re going to see coins move around again. We’re working with the mint to increase supply, and we’re working with the reserve banks to get that supply where it needs to be. So, we think it’s a temporary situation,” he said.