Altabanking episode 26 with Stan Sorensen

Sept. 4, 2020

Stan Sorensen – Altabanking Interview KSL Radio Transcript:

Segment title: Is there a National Cash and Coin Shortage?

GRANT: Welcome to Altabanking. Weekly business talk geared toward elevating your financial future. Stan Sorensen is Vice President at Altabank. Always good to have you, Stan. Welcome back.

STAN: Thank you, Grant. Always a pleasure.

GRANT: If you’ve seen the news lately, we’re now seeing a national coin shortage as a result of COVID-19. What’s the story behind this?

STAN:  Grant, it’s interesting because it really isn’t as much a shortage of coins as it is a lack of circulation of those coins. And really, since June the US Mint has been back on track producing about 1.6 million coins a month as per usual. But circulation really slowed down because of less in-person shopping since March. And a worry that some merchants had that cash and coins could transmit the COVID-19 virus. And that led a lot of businesses to shift to a card-only payment model.  

GRANT: With so many money transactions now taking place digitally, do you anticipate a wholesale shift away from cash and coins?

STAN: As you know, online and digital transactions have been growing for years. They definitely accelerated this year. That doesn’t mean that cash and coins are going to go away any time soon. There are a lot of people who still prefer to pay cash. There are still folks who don’t have access to online or digital payment resources. There are services that are most or all-cash based like laundromats, some mass transit, even vending machines. And there’s businesses that only take cash in order to avoid merchant fees charged by the credit card companies.

GRANT: Should businesses hold onto their coins for transactions right now until the lockdown looks like it’s going to be lifting?

STAN: I think that becomes counterproductive, because the issue is one of circulation, not supply. The only way to fix that is to get more coins into the market. One of the solutions that we’ve been encouraging from our customers at Altabank is to bring their coins in and trade in for cash. We, then, get those coins circulating by getting them into the hands of our business customers, who in turn get them into the hands of theirs. And of course, as things continue to open up circulation should naturally accelerate.

GRANT: Well thank you, Stan. Good talking with you. This has been Altabanking. Brought you by Altabank. Member FDIC.