Western State Bank waives all coin machine fees

Jill Way
Dodge City Daily Globe

Western State Bank is asking local residents to “walk in with coins, walk out with paper” for the last of the month for anyone interested in exchanging their coins for paper money.

“While Western State Bank customers are never charged a coin machine fee, non-customers typically pay 10%,” a news release said.

The 10% non-customer coin machine fee will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

The release said the United States, caught in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, is currently experiencing a coin circulation problem or “coin shortage.”

However, the U.S. Coin Task Force — established by the U.S. Mint and Federal Reserve in July 2020 to address the issue — said it isn’t a shortage at all.

It’s a disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a task force news release said.

“Recent shutdowns of businesses and financial institutions have led to fewer cash transactions,” the Western Bank release said.

There is about $48 billion in coin already in circulation, most of which is sitting dormant inside American households, according to the U.S. Coin Task Force news release.

“As people have changed their spending habits, and coin-intensive businesses and financial institution lobbies have been less accessible, the nation’s coin is pooling in change jars, in car cup holders and in shuttered businesses, making it difficult for the businesses of this country to get the coin that they need to support cash transactions,” the task force release said.

In the release, Hannah Walker, a task force member and the vice president of FMI — The Food Industry Association, said while weak circulation affects everyone, small cash-dependent businesses are hardest hit.

“For millions of Americans, cash is the only form of payment,” Walker said.

The task force has said exchanging coins for paper money is one way to address the issue.

“If just a fraction of the coin sitting dormant in households is redeemed, this problem can be solved,” the release said.

While the task force encourages people to spend and exchange coins, consumer safety is paramount, the release said.

The task force asks everyone to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations regarding personal safety when visiting retailers, small businesses, banks, grocery stores and credit unions.

Western State Bank’s coin machines are located in the Dodge City and Garden City main banking center lobbies.

The Dodge City location is at 2121 N. 14th Ave., and the Garden City bank is at 1500 E. Kansas Ave.

For more information, contact Western State Bank at 620-227-9824 in Dodge City or 620-275-4128 in Garden City.

Every coin counts

While the U.S. Coin Task Force completes its work, the group urges the American public to:

• Start spending coins.

• Deposit coins in financial institutions.

• Redeem coins at coin kiosks.

• Use the hashtag #getcoinmoving in social media posts to promote awareness and understanding of the issue.