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Doing Their Part Initiative

In response to the coin circulation disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic, many financial institutions have found creative ways to better meet the needs of their stakeholders through innovative programs and community outreach. The Doing Their Part series highlights some of the commendable efforts that organizations have taken in order to #getcoinmoving again.

State Savings Bank – Doing Their Part

State Savings Bank is a community bank that has served northwest Michigan since 1901. To reduce the impact of the coin circulation disruption, the bank has launched the “Change for Charity” campaign that allows individuals to donate coins at local fairs and events hosted by State Savings Bank branches. All coins collected are circulated to customers and the equivalent value is donated to local charities, compounding the benefit of the campaign to the communities of northwest Michigan.

The Change for Charity events are also used to educate consumers about the slowdown in coin circulation and the importance of bringing in coin to alleviate the related economic disruptions to the households and businesses that use them. In addition to the Change for Charity initiative, State Savings Bank purchased a coin machine and is offering free coin-counting services at their Frankfort office. This investment aims to increase access to coin-counting services in the region and is a display of State Savings Bank’s commitment to ensuring the availability of coins for its customers.

Community banks know their individual and small business customers well. These close relationships have motivated institutions like State Savings Bank to meet their stakeholders’ needs during these uncertain times and we thank them for doing their part to #getcoinmoving.

Farmers Bank – Doing Their Part

Farmers Bank is a community bank that has served the Hampton Roads region of Virginia since 1919. To address coin circulation disruptions amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the bank started a coin wrapper program where customers bring in coins for banks staff to roll or take wrappers home to roll the coin themselves. The wrappers and hand-counting services are provided free to customers and allow the bank to increase coin availability in their service area. Farmers promoted the program titled “Calling All Coins!” across social media and has received widespread support from their community. The initiative streamlined coin deposits and exchanges across all eight of the bank’s locations without utilizing a coin counting machine.

In 2019, the FDIC estimated (Off-site) that 6.4 percent of the households in the Hampton Roads region were unbanked. The efforts undertaken by Farmers Bank increase the availability of coin throughout the local economy and to these unbanked households that rely on cash. This relationship demonstrates the vital role that community banks play in maintaining a strong and accessible financial system. The initiative taken by Farmers Bank and the support of their community is illustrative of how we can #getcoinmoving with a little creativity.

Citizens National Bank – Doing Their Part

Citizens National Bank is a community bank in northern Michigan. The coin circulation disruption inhibited the function of the regional economy that relies on tourism expenditures and cash transitions, so Citizens National Bank stepped up to meet the needs of its stakeholders by providing free coin-to-cash exchange services for customers and non-customers.

Citizens National Bank designed this program to support all members of its community, understanding that the coin circulation disruption disproportionately affects those who are unbanked and rely on cash as a payment system. The bank’s seven locations remained mostly closed to the public during the pandemic, but staff was able to provide services to customers by appointment only. To encourage the community to do its part in alleviating the coin circulation disruption, Citizens National Bank reached out via social media to ask community members to empty their piggy banks in exchange for cash. To facilitate this effort, bank staff scheduled exchange appointments to accept coins from customers and non-customers.

Nancy Lindsay, the vice president of marketing at Citizens National Bank, said, “Being in a rural area, a bank that is celebrating its 90th year, and employing local, we are well known and respected and it’s not often that we put out a call for help so that when we do, our customers and our communities are more than happy to help.”

The efforts of Citizens National Bank and the communities of northern Michigan show how we can all do our part to #getcoinmoving again.

North Shore Bank – Doing Their Part

North Shore Bank, a community bank with 46 branches across eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, found a way to reduce the sources of friction that drove the coin circulation disruption in the communities it serves. North Shore offered free coin counting to everyone throughout its community – a service for which non-customers would normally pay a 5 percent fee. North Shore also launched a targeted promotional campaign to educate and encourage individuals to do their part to stimulate coin circulation in the local economy.

North Shore Bank’s program exceeded expectations and has resulted in the gathering and recirculation of approximately $1.4M in coins since 2020. The initiative’s success can be attributed to community members who answered the bank’s call to action. North Shore highlighted these individuals’ contributions by sharing their stories through the news media, including the story of a man who cashed in more than $5,000 in coins saved over 20 years. The reporting created a buzz that further amplified the call to bring in coins.

North Shore was astounded by the gratitude shown for the program by the public. One laundromat owner, whose business is completely dependent on coin, visited a branch with tears in his eyes to thank North Shore for the initiative. The bank’s efforts and the community’s response are emblematic of the value and personalized services community banks provide to individuals and small businesses across the country.