America Experiences a Coin Shortage


Vanessa Caceres

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected normalcy for everyone around the world. Empty stadiums where crowds would cheer on their favorite sports team, to restaurants filled up with the sound of conversation and laughter, this universal disease has had a great impact on a day to day life. This past summer due to Coronavirus, the country has faced coin shortages due to businesses and bank closures disrupting the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coins. ​The U.S. Mint, which produces coins, had been working at a limited capacity because of employee safety measures. Large quantities of coins currently in circulation have also been locked up in homes. Many Americans have been staying in more due to the growing fear of contamination of the virus.

Senior Madison Isom first handedly experiences the effects of coin shortage in her job at H-E-B.

“​ It affects the customers more because they can not pay with cash at some self checkout machines or even fast food places that took in coins before,” said Isom.

Even though coins can be essential when it comes to giving change back to a customer, there are also different methods on what can work when paying for groceries or other necessities that are being needed.

“Other ways people can pay are with their debit or credit card, Apple or Samsung pay, prepaid cards or even gift cards,” said Isom.

Using cards in this day and age is much more of a safer option than using coins because of how many people have touched them and the circulation process flowing across the country over and over again throughout our banks and our pockets. However this does hurt the consumer and small businesses who do rely on coins.

“I believe that they will overcome this by allowing more people to pay with their cards and they can end up saving their change until this is all over,” said Isom.

Due to the coin shortage and other major retail businesses, including Walmart, CVS, Kroger, and Starbucks encourage their customers to pay with credit cards, debit cards or give exact change in order to relieve stress of not having enough change to give back to customers.

“For now H-E-B will continue to use the exact change and credit card method until someone who has a high position in the business tells us that the shortage is over,” said Isom.