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Canadians still plan to spend pennies: survey


February 21, 2013
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Feb. 21, 2013, Toronto — Three-quarters of Canadians expect retailers to continue accepting pennies at checkout, despite plans for the coin’s demise.

A new survey by BMO Bank of Montreal found that 73 per cent of Canadians
expect even small businesses to accept the penny, regardless of the
circumstances or purchase amount.

The survey found that 59 per
cent of Canadians expect small businesses to adjust prices in the
consumer’s favour, and 57 per cent expect adjustments to be in the
retailer’s favour.

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"Successful Canadian business owners not only
have the products and services Canadians want, but also a strong focus
on meeting the needs and expectations of their customers. With this move
to phase out the penny, there can be little doubt that Canadian
business will continue to do what they need to, to maintain and
strengthen the important relationships they have with their customers,"
said Steve Murphy, senior vice-president of commercial banking at BMO
Bank of Montreal.

"As the penny is phased out, small businesses
overall should not experience a noticeable difference in the number of
transactions because many retailers are also set up to accept debit and
credit card transactions."

The survey, conducted by Pollara, also revealed:

  • Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (66 per cent) currently pay for their daily purchases with a debit or credit card
  • The majority of Canadians (67 per cent) believe speed of service will increase as fewer customers will pay with loose change

The
federal government has proposed voluntary guidelines for retailers,
including: rounding down if the price ends in a one, two, six or seven
and rounding up if the price ends in a three, four, eight or nine.

"Some
small businesses may adjust their cash registers, while others may
encourage their employees to round the bill manually after taxes have
been added to the sub-total," Murphy added.

BMO's Penny Survey
was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights. The survey results are from
online interviews with a random sample of 1,400 Canadians 18 years of
age and older, carried out between Feb. 7 and 10. A probability sample
of this size would yield results accurate to ± 2.6 per cent, 19 times
out of 20.


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