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France could soon remove 1- and 2-eurocent coins

Belgium did it earlier this month, following Finland, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy

  • December 10, 2019 14:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium coin 2357072 1920

Making cash payments is gradually getting easier in Western Europe. As of the beginning of December, it is no longer possible to pay cash amounts like 3,22 or 5,99 euros when you shop in Belgium. Instead, the retailer is obliged to round-off the amount for the total purchase to the 0.5. So, in the first case you will be asked to pay only 3,20 and in the second – 6 euros. This is done in a conscientious effort to phase out the 1- and 2-eurocents coins.

Cutting expenditure while simplifying  customer experience

The reason why this new system has found application in Belgium and is becoming a trend in eurozone countries is that the smallest coins of 1 and 2 eurocents are too expensive to mint, while they have no value for customers and are not used quite often. Our pockets and bags are full of these small coins and we desperately search for creative ways to get rid of them.

Thus, after the new Belgian law has entered into force, if the total amount of a purchase ends in 1,2, 6- or 7-euro cents, the retailers would round off to the smaller amount. If it ends in 3,4, 8- or 9- eurocents, they will round up to the larger amount. Customers could still use the remaining 1 and 2 coins  to round a sum, but never receive them back as change. The traders of course are still free to set prices of their choice even  like 9.99, only the customer will be charged then 10 euro. Also, the exact amounts can still be paid by card or cheque.

Finally, France might soon follow in the footsteps of its close neighbour. As actu.fr reports, The Public Action 2022 Committee considers implementing several measures with the potential to save about 30 billion euros to the State before 2022 aiming to fight against financial fraud. Removing the 1- and 2- cents from circulation is one of them and could mean that France could join the ranks of Finland, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy which no longer use the smallest copper coins.

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