The trial will reduce the number of one and two cent coins in circulation, test how rounding will work in practice and assess the reaction of consumers and retailers.
The rounding trial rules are simple and fair for all. Cash transactions are rounded to the nearest five cent at the till, to remove the need for one and two cent coins in change. The price of individual goods or services will remain unchanged as only the total bill will be rounded. Non-cash transactions are not affected. Participation in the trial is voluntary.
National Payments Plan programme manager Ronnie O’Toole said: “We have had a huge level of interest in the Wexford Rounding Trial and more than 230 businesses have signed up to participate. This week we are kicking off an intensive public information campaign to inform consumers about the trial and how rounding works.
“We will also be conducting market research with consumers and retailers to assess the impact of the trial. All the indications are that Wexford will provide an excellent testing ground for issues that might arise and will provide a strong representative sample of experiences from local retailers and consumers.”
Senator Feargal Quinn, who is attending the launch of the Trial in Wexford today, welcomed the initiative and urged Wexford consumers and retailers alike to participate in the Rounding Trial and give their feedback.
“For many, one and two cent coins are a nuisance and I have questioned their relevance for some time. However, they are legal currency, so any proposal to change how we use them nationally needs to be well thought through and we must have resolved any practical problems that might arise. I congratulate the Central Bank and the Wexford Chamber of Commerce for the way they are going about this trial.”
Madeleine Quirke, Chief Executive of Wexford Chamber of Commerce said: “I am not surprised at the enthusiastic support for the trial that has come from Wexford businesses. It is a great opportunity to show Wexford town in a positive light and help cement the brand of Wexford town as being highly innovative and a great retail experience. When Wexford was announced as the host town in July, we attracted local, national and even international interest and I expect a lot of interest in how the trial works.”
The public information campaign for the Wexford Rounding Trial will involve a leaflet drop to every household in Wexford town, local print and radio advertisements, a dedicated website www.wexfordroundingtrial.ie, a Twitter handle @WexfordRounding and an information number 053 911 0390.