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NAMA corrects misstatements about dollar coins


December 9, 2008
By NAMA

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Dec. 9, 2008. Chicago – The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) today responded to an article that appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that made several misstatements about the costs associated with the dollar coin.

The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) today responded to an article that appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that made several misstatements about the costs associated with the dollar coin, NAMA Executive Vice President and COO Dan Mathews, NCE said today.  The article appeared in the November 30, issue of the paper, and was authored by Richard Miniter who raised questions about the value of replacing dollar bills with coins.

In its response NAMA President and CEO Richard M. Geerdes, NCE said: 

“In April, 2000, the Government’s General Accountability Office estimated annual savings using dollar coins instead of printing dollar bills would be $522 million. It is perfectly reasonable to assume that the savings from the coin, which lasts 30 years, as opposed to the bill, which lasts 2 years, would have risen to at least $600 million a year by 2008. 

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Mr. Miniter is right in pointing out that the cost to produce coins has risen substantially in recent years. According to the United States Mint’s 2007 Annual Report, the cost to produce a penny has risen to 1.67 cents and the cost of the nickel has risen to 9.53 cents. The cost to make a dollar coin in 2007 was 16 cents per coin. So the penny and nickel yielded a loss to the American taxpayer of $98 million for the year, while the dollar coin yielded a profit to the taxpayer of $574 million. Now what coin does Mr. Miniter urge the Government to stop making—-the dollar coin?

Not only would dollar coins be good for the taxpayer, they would also be good for the vending industry and the millions of Americans who buy from vending machines every day. Coins work virtually 100% of the time, while many thousands of vending machine sales are thwarted every day by low quality $1 bills. Up to half of vending machine operators’ service calls are due to jammed bill acceptors. Dollar coins would reduce service calls. And dollar coins are much cheaper to dispense in change than dollar bills.

Progress is being made in the vending industry in making credit and debit card options available to customers, but substantial capital costs and per transaction fees remain a barrier.

The vending industry is committed to making as many modern payment options as possible available to the public, including credit cards, debit cards and dollar coins.”

Concluded Mathews, “There is simply no question that everyone would benefit if dollar bills were replaced with dollar coins.  This issue is very important to us at NAMA, and we will continue to take whatever steps are necessary to help make it happen.”

NAMA is the national trade association of the food and refreshment vending, coffee service and foodservice management industries including on-site, commissary, catering, & mobile. Its membership is comprised of service companies, equipment manufacturers and suppliers of products and services to operating service companies.  The basic mission of the association, to collectively advance and promote the automatic merchandising and coffee service industries, still guides NAMA today as it did in 1936, the year of the organization’s founding.

Contact:
Richard M. Geereds, NCE
President and CEO
rgeereds@vending.org


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