Canadian Vending

Features Equipment Technology
Coin Recycling Worth $1 Billion

Today that concept has grown into a unique opportunity


March 24, 2008
By Canadian Vending

Topics

The idea of coin recycling is founded in mechanic innovation in 1960s
Sweden. A company in the European country more famous for hockey
players and blonde bombshells, pioneered the process of alloy
recognition.

The idea of coin recycling is founded in mechanic innovation in 1960s Sweden. A company in the European country more famous for hockey players and blonde bombshells, pioneered the process of alloy recognition.

Today that concept has grown into a unique opportunity for vending operators looking to expand their offerings in specific high traffic locations.

Coin recycling involves the installation of a machine that will count and sort coins. And while most midsized operators likely have such a machine in place in their coin room, these latest machines are designed for the consumer.

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Brady Metcalfe, vice-president of sales for Gemsys, and one of the coin recycling machines now being offered to vending operators for high traffic locations. 

Jack Lord, from Gemsys in Mississauga, Ont., says the vending operator now needs to explore the idea of more self-serve machines, as both the marketplace and consumer demands evolve.

“Europe is way ahead of us in this. Here in Canada, we are in the beginning stages … it’s an ideal opportunity for vending companies to get in.”

Lord refers to the concept as “coin recycling.” He says in Canada there is an estimated $1 billion “sitting around doing nothing.” This is the value of coins that are not in circulation, but rather sitting in mason jars, ashtrays and piggybanks coast to coast.

The machines are suited nicely to vending, as operators already know the ins and outs of location contracts, traffic flows, and consumer targeting.

“The idea is to place these machines in high traffic areas. Right now they’re not very common in Canada,” he says. “It’s the ideal opportunity to partner with super-markets, locations with traffic.”

There are a number of revenue streams that can be derived from coin recycling, according to Lord. With some models
offering touchscreen kiosk features, the cabinet can be wrapped for specific marketing needs, along with multimedia advertising opportunities.

“The benefit to the location is they are getting people into the store with money. Supermarkets love it because of the small footprint that will generate revenue … it has shown itself to drive business,” Lord says. “People still use a lot of coin in Canada.”

Lord explained that consumers use the machine to “dump” coins. The machine counts, sorts coins, and then dispenses a “chit” that can be redeemed at the location.

“It’s really a win, win, win for the operator, the consumer and the location.”

The Royal Canadian Mint is actively behind the idea of coin recycling – even more so because of the economic void that exists with so much money not in circulation. In Canada no coins have been removed from circulation for reasons other than wear and tear, meaning a real savings to them if all the existing coins would find their way back into the economy.

And that’s a very good idea, says Ian Bennett, president of the mint. “When Canadians recycle their coins, the Royal Canadian Mint also recycles. Recycling coins is a cost-effective and efficient way for the mint to provide coins to the marketplace,” he says on the mint’s website.

“Keep in mind that every coin recycled is one that doesn’t have to be produced, which, in turn, preserves our precious Canadian environment and helps reduce emissions caused by smelting and mining.”

Lord says the concept is a natural progression for the vending operator, especially those who have lost revenue due to legislated product changes and demographic shifts.

For the skeptic, he adds, “Look at air vending at gas stations. Who would have ever thought that would work?”