If you don’t have change jingling around in your pockets right now, some experts are saying you can blame the coronavirus pandemic.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has said the COVID-19 outbreak has led to a coin shortage, USA Today reported.
“With the partial closure of the economy, the flow of funds through the economy has stopped. We are working with the Mint and the Reserve Banks and as the economy re-opens we are starting to see money move around again,” Powell said, according to USA Today.
Weighing in on the reports, Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity spoke with Scott Slade from our sister station, WSB Radio, this week.
“There are billions of dollars of coins out in America. It’s just not at the right place for use at this point in time, said Gaherity.
Gaherity went on to say that a lot of coin is with consumers at home or with businesses that are closed, so the circulation is not happening as it would have been.
Coinstar is a private company with 17,000 locations across the U.S. that has machines that take loose change and turn it into cash or prepaid cards. After Coinstar gets the money, they recirculate it by depositing it into either a financial institution or the Federal Reserve Bank.
The Federal Reserve said coin deposits have declined as did the production of coins by the U.S. Mint as it rolled out measures to protect employees.
Also adding to the shortage, businesses encouraging customers to use contactless payments instead of cash to help stop the spread of the virus.
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Coinstar is owned by Apollo Global Mgmt, now the majority stakeholder in Cox Media Group and WGAU.