Pennies still in play at retail shops

According to a survey by BMO Bank of Montreal, three-quarters (73 per cent) of Canadians expect retailers, including small businesses, to continue accepting pennies at the check-out – regardless of the circumstances or purchase amount – despite plans for their elimination.

In addition, the survey also found that 59 per cent of Canadians expect small businesses to adjust prices in the consumers’ favour and 57 per cent expect adjustment to be in the retailers favour.

“With this move to phase out the penny, there can be little doubt that Canadian business will continue to do what they need to, to maintain and strengthen the important relationships they have with their customers,” said Steve Murphy, senior vice-president of commercial banking, BMO Bank of Montreal.

“As the penny is phased out, small businesses overall should not experience a noticeable difference in the number of transactions because many retailers are also set up to accept debit and credit card transactions.”

The survey, conducted by Pollara, also revealed:

n Nearly two-thirds (66 per cent) of those surveyed currently pay for their daily purchases with a debit or credit card

n The majority (67 per cent) of Canadians believe speed of service will increase as fewer customers will pay with loose change

The Federal government has proposed voluntary guidelines for retailers, including: rounding down if the price ends in a one, two, six or seven and rounding up if the price ends in a three, four, eight or nine

“Some small businesses may adjust their cash registers, while others may encourage their employees to round the bill manually after taxes have been added to the sub-total, said Murphy.


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