FARGO — Shoppers are counting coins as some Fargo-Moorhead businesses require exact change because of a national coin shortage.
The Federal Reserve gave banks only 40% of their usual nickel and dime orders and 60% of pennies and quarters on June 15.
The supply chain is broken for two reasons:
First, the U.S. Mint decreased production due to social distancing, to protect workers.
Second, businesses that get coins from customers can't get their coins back to the banks.
Joe Herslip, Bank of North Dakota senior vice president & chief technology and operations officer, said North Dakota may not be hit as hard as other states. They represent more banks, so they are able to get more coins from the mint. Plus, all extra coins stay in the state.
"We don't send it back to the federal reserve as many other banks would do. One of our service providers takes it and rerolls it so it goes back into just North Dakota," he said.
But some Fargo companies can't get change in their cash registers.
Signs posted on doors of Loaf 'N Jug locations ask customers to use cards. The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota received a call from someone asking if it was legal for businesses to not give change.
"Most banks closed their lobbies and use the drive-thru, and of course heavy bags of coins are not something you can take through the drive-thrus to deposit in the bank," Herslip said.