SINGAPORE: If the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) proposal to limit the use of coins for payment is approved, the maximum amount you can use coins to pay for a single transaction is S$18.50.
The central bank said in a press release that a consultation paper was published on Thursday (Mar 16) to get public feedback on proposed legal tender limits for coins. It is proposing a limit of 10 coins per denomination across all denominations in a single transaction.
This means that a payer can use up to 10 pieces each of 5-cent, 10-cent, 20-cent, 50-cent and S$1 coins per transaction, the regulator said.
Currently, the limits on using coins for payment are $2 per denomination for 5-cent, 10-cent and 20-cent coins, and S$10 for 50-cent coins. There are no limits for payment by S$1 coins.
"These limits help minimise the payee’s inconvenience and cost in handling large quantities of low denomination currency," MAS said.
The cost has to do largely with counting, sorting, storing and transporting the coins for deposit into the payee's bank accounts, said MAS in response to queries from Channel NewsAsia. It added that the limits would also help prevent acts of mischief.
In 2014, there were two cases of coins being used for payment of large amounts. One of them involved a mobile shop in Sim Lim Square which tried to provide a S$1,010 refund to a customer entirely in coins. In another case a month later, a man left S$19,000 worth of coins at a car dealer's showroom.
Overall, business owners said the proposed changes are not likely to affect payments significantly, with some saying that they have taken steps to go cashless through methods like stored-value payment cards.
MAS said the limit of 10 coins per denomination "strikes a good balance" between the interests of payers who would want to be able to pay with as many coins as possible, and payees who would want a limit on the number of coins acceptable for payment to minimise inconvenience.
The public consultation will end on Apr 6. More details can be found on MAS' website.