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.
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.