Rounding of cash transactions
Rounding was rolled out nationwide from Wednesday 28 October 2015. Rounding means that the total amount of a bill will be rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cent. It applies only to cash payments and does not apply to bills paid electronically - by debit card, credit card or by store card.
Rounding aims to reduce the use of 1 and 2 cent coins. These coins are not actively used by consumers and the cost of issuing them is more than the value of the coins. A 1 cent coin costs 1.65c to produce while 2 cent coin costs 1.94c. However 1 and 2 cent coins will continue to be legal tender.
The key features of rounding are:
- Rounding is voluntary for retailers and customers
- 1c and 2c coins remain legal tender
- Rounding applies only to cash payments
- The total amount of any bill will be rounded down or up to the nearest 5 cent
The retailer can apply rounding automatically without asking the customer – it is up to you to say if you don’t want rounding applied to your bill. However customers must always be given exact change if they request it.
Where a total bill is being paid in cash and the number of cent to be paid does not end in zero or five - requiring the customer to use 1 and 2 cent coins in payment or the retailer to use such coins in giving change - the amount of change paid will be rounded to the nearest 5 or 10 cent:
- 1 and 2 would be rounded down to zero
- 3 and 4 would be rounded up to 5
- 6 and 7 would be rounded down to 5
- 8 and 9 would be rounded up to 10
Under rounding a bill can be rounded up or down, as follows:
- A transaction costing €10.21 or €10.22 would be rounded to €10.20
- A transaction costing €10.23 or €10.24 would be rounded to €10.25
- A transaction costing €10.26 or €10.27 would be rounded to €10.25
- A transaction costing €10.28 or €10.29 would be rounded to €10.30
Two individual items priced at €10.99 and €3.49 respectively will remain at these prices, though the total bill (€14.48) would be rounded up to €14.50.
Three individual items priced at €2.99, €4.49 and €8.18 respectively will remain at these prices, though the total bill (€15.66) would be rounded down to €15.65.
Informing customers about rounding
Shops and other retailers should tell you that they are using rounding through appropriate in-store signage. This could include, for example, a notice on entrance doors or at the till. The Central Bank will supply suitable signage to retailers, free of charge, before the rollout on 28 October.
If you have a complaint or comment about how rounding is being implemented you can email or write to the Central Bank at the address below.