The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) revealed on its Instagram page yesterday that coin counting machines have been delayed by the global COVID-19 pandemic and therefore the bank will facilitate the redemption of pennies by weight next month.
Last year the CBOB announced that the penny would be eliminated from The Bahamas’ currency, while also announcing that there would be a period when Bahamians could return their pennies to the bank for their value.
That redemption process was to occur using strategically placed counting machines that the bank has now said are delayed.
“The coin counting machines are delayed due to the global manufacturing and shipping stoppages triggered by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the bank revealed.
“However, the public will not be inconvenienced. The Central Bank is finalizing an interim solution: phase 1, redemption by weight.
“A detailed schedule will be published by Wednesday, September 23, 2020. Please continue to follow our social media pages for updates.
“As a reminder, penny redemption remains available until June 30, 2021.”
A graphic on the CBOB’s Instagram page explains that the pennies do not need to be rolled in order for Bahamians to take advantage of the redemption by weight initiative.
The graphic also reveals that the locations for the initiative will be rotated on a regular basis and will operate Wednesday through Sunday.
By the end of 2020, the Bahamian penny will no longer be accepted at the register and by June 2021, banks will no longer cash in pennies.
CBOB made the decision after studying the cost of producing the penny versus its actual value. The bank found that it cost $443,000 to distribute the one cent coin and that it could save $7 million over ten years through its elimination.
The last time pennies were manufactured was in 2015.
The bank explained that the removal of the coin will not have an effect on electronic payments, while cash payments will be rounded off to the nearest five cents.