The fifth international Coin Conference will examine the future for circulating coins.

A new conference will examine the future role of coins as they continue to play an essential and intrinsic part of cash-based payments — which cannot function effectively without them.

With overcapacity, rising material costs, hoarding, the removal of low-value coins, and the growth of m-payments and contactless cards, which are chipping away at the use of coins for low-value payments, circulating coins are currently under pressure.

Alongside these challenges, cash usage nevertheless continues to grow in many parts of the world — with cash in circulation relative to GDP increasing to 9.6% across all continents, up from 8.1% in 2011, according to a recent report.*

So how can circulating coins continue to play their vital role in the provision of an effective cash service to the public by central banks and treasury departments?

The fifth international Coin Conference, which is being held in Rome from October 14-16, 2019, will address these challenges. As the only event to focus on coins as part of cash strategies in circulation from the perspective of currency issuers, it will look at how the production and circulation of coins can be optimised to ensure their continuing role in the cash eco-system.

The conference will see those involved in the management of circulating coins — the aforementioned central banks and issuers, along with mints and suppliers — discuss and share ideas in a series of sessions covering all the key aspects of the worldwide circulating coin industry.

These include forecasting, maintaining public confidence, the merits of new technologies for greener and cleaner coins, different denomination structures, removing lower denominations, improving redemption, best practice circulation strategies, coin cycle policies, seigniorage, the note/coin boundary, accessibility, and the social and economic benefits of coins.

An “Optimising the Efficiency of the Coin Cycle” workshop will focus on ways to prevent coins from being hoarded and return them back into circulation — a specific area of concern to central banks identified at the fourth Coin Conference in 2017. A second one, “Making Money with Money,” will cover circulating commemorative and collectors’ coins. This will showcase examples of best practice, how stakeholders can work together to ensure a healthy market, and how to avoid the pitfalls of overexposure and lost value.

Astrid Mitchell of the organisers, Currency Publications, and conference co-chair, said that the position of coins in society is changing and that this will only continue to accelerate.

She said:

Coins as part of an effective cash strategy offer choice, freedom and financial inclusion for billions of people across the world. But equally the future for payments is rapidly evolving. Above all, coins need to be relevant, accessible, cost-effective (both in terms of production and circulation) and secure. The Coin Conference is directed at ensuring extensive debate and critical examination of how these objectives can be met. 

Policy and strategy; public engagement; green, secure and socially responsible coins; optimising costs and meeting demand; recirculation and recycling; and examples of international coin programmes will be covered in individual sessions, each followed by a panel discussion.

An exhibition from some of the leading mints and technology suppliers will run alongside the main conference programme. The Coin Conference will also feature a technology showcase, a dinner where the IACA Excellence in Currency Awards for Coins will be presented, and a post-conference football match. There will also be a tour of the Banca d ‘Italia printworks and/or the Italian Mint museum. More is available online.

* Link to report

Press release courtesy of Currency Publications.

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