'Customers like getting change back - but it's the right move'
A Wexford town businessman who took part in a pilot project to take small coins out of circulation has welcomed a decision to roll-out the initiative nationally - but warned that some customers still hold a soft spot for their one and two-cent pieces.
James O'Connor, who owns restaurant, gallery and gourmet food and wine shop Green Acres, said the trial was a huge success for businesses in the area. But he said some customers complained about the programme.
"If something is priced at 99c, that is what people like to pay. People like getting their change back," he said. "On most occasions, they will pop it in the RNLI charity box beside the till but they had a choice.
"I think some thought businesses were trying to take advantage of them."
Mr O'Connor added that despite some customers' concerns, he feels losing the low denomination coins is the right move.
"If you consider the substantial costs that banks charge for exchanging these coins, it is definitely the right move for businesses," he said.
"I would like to see them getting rid of five-cent coins as well.
"The trial was definitely beneficial for larger companies who have up to 10 tills going at a time.
"Imagine all the staff hours spent counting the small coins. It will be a considerable saving. In reality, it will make little difference as more people are opting for debit cards."