Cash rounding or Swedish rounding (New Zealand English) occurs when the minimum unit of account is smaller than the lowest physical denomination of currency. The amount payable for a cash transaction is rounded to the nearest multiple of the minimum currency unit available, whereas transactions paid in other ways are not rounded (for example electronic funds transfer such as with payment cards, or negotiable instruments such as cheques). Cash rounding typically occurs when low-denomination coins are removed from circulation owing to inflation. Cash rounding may be a compulsory legal requirement if such coins are no longer legal tender, or a voluntary practice where they remain in circulation but are scarce or impractical.
Cash rounding ("öre rounding", öresavrundning) was introduced in Sweden in 1972 when 1 and 2 öre coins were withdrawn from circulation, and has continued to be applied at incremental levels as smaller denomination coins have been withdrawn. The current level of cash rounding in Sweden is to the closest whole krona, after the 50 öre coin was withdrawn in 2010. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand used the name "Swedish rounding" in 1990 when withdrawing their 1- and 2-cent coins. In Canada, cash rounding to the nearest nickel (5 cents) due to the elimination of the penny in 2013 is also called penny rounding.
When small-value coins are withdrawn, an alternative to the implementation of cash rounding is instead to increase the minimum unit of account to the smallest remaining currency unit and to round all prices and bank accounts to this value. Whereas cash rounding is an ongoing process, this alternative is a one-time conversion. It was done, for example, when the British farthing was withdrawn in 1960.
Rounding is applied to the total of a bill, not to the line items on the bill. Typically, the total is rounded to the nearest multiple of the smallest denomination, which may be higher or lower than the unrounded total. Where the unrounded total is an equal distance from two multiples, practice varies: merchants may be required or encouraged to round down rather than up, giving the benefit to the buyer. An equal distance is possible when the rounding interval is an even number.
The introduction of cash rounding is typically accompanied by publicity campaigns for awareness among both consumers and implementing merchants; smaller campaigns will accompany the extension of an existing rounding system to a higher rounding interval.
Rounding with 0.05 or 5 intervals
|Albania||One lek coins were last produced in 2013. Although they continue to circulate and are legal tender, cash transactions may be rounded to the nearest multiple of five lekë.|
|Argentina||Always rounded down. Due to high rates of inflation since the 2010s, low denominations are no longer produced and are quickly disappearing from circulation.|
|Australia||1992 onwards||1c and 2c coins last produced in 1991 and removed from circulation in 1992, though they remain redeemable at banks. Payments completed by cheque or electronic means are not usually rounded, although some point-of-sale systems may round all transactions regardless of tender.|
|The Bahamas||2021 onwards||One cent coins issued by the Central Bank of the Bahamas ceased to be legal tender starting in 2021. All cash transactions should be rounded to the nearest multiple of five cents.|
|Bahrain||1966 onwards||1 fils coins were last minted in 1966 and are currently no longer in circulation, so prices are rounded to the nearest 5 fils.|
|Belgium||2019 onwards||Starting 1 December 2019 cash payments (payable of at least 5 cents) must be rounded to the nearest 5 cents. 1 and 2 cent coins are still valid as means of payment.|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2006 onwards||The smallest coin issued is the 5 fening. 1- and 2- fening coins are never issued. So prices are automatically rounded to the nearest 5 fening upon the introduction of the coin in 2006.|
|Brazil||2005 onwards||1 centavo coins no longer produced as of November 2005. Retailers now generally round their prices to the next 5 or 10 centavos.|
|Canada||2013 onwards||Penny no longer produced as of 2012. After 4 February 2013 pennies no longer distributed by banks. Cash transactions are rounded to the nearest $0.05. Electronic transactions are still completed to $0.01.|
|CFP franc area (French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna)||2022 onwards||1- and 2- franc coins (along with the old coins) ceased to be legal tender on 30 November 2022 with the new coin series (which omits the 1 and 2 franc coins) circulating from September 2022. The rounding rule does not apply to non-cash transactions.|
|Croatia||2009 to 2023||1- and 2-lipa coins were legal tender, but rarely used; the two coins are mostly minted for annual mint sets. Most prices were rounded to the nearest 5 or 10 lipa. Upon the introduction of the euro, the kuna lost its status as a legal tender currency.|
|Finland||1980 to 1990, 2002 onwards||The 1-penni coin was phased out in 1980 and the 5-penni coin in 1990.|
|Hungary||2011 onwards||The centesimal subdivision of the Hungarian forint (the fillér) was discontinued in 1999, and is not used for transactions, but may appear in contexts where precision is needed, such as petrol prices. Cash rounding is done to the level of 5 Ft, which is also the smallest denominated coin available after a new set of coins was introduced in 2011. The 1-forint and 2-forint coins were withdrawn in 2008 and are no longer legal tender. Full precision to the forint level remains possible through bank transactions.|
|Republic of Ireland||2015 onwards||A National Payments Plan in April 2013 planned "to trial the use of a rounding convention in a pilot project in a mid-size Irish town", with the 1- and 2-cent coins no longer being minted while remaining legal tender. The trial in Wexford was declared successful in June 2015 and rounding to the nearest 5 cents commenced on 28 October 2015. Compliance is voluntary and retailers must make exact charging upon request. One- and two-cent coins remain legal tender, and rounding does not apply to electronic non-cash payments.|
|Israel||1991 to 2007||1 agora coins were removed from circulation on 1 April 1991. Transaction amounts could still be specified to the nearest agora. Cash purchase totals were rounded to the nearest 5 agorot. This system was in effect until 1 January 2008, when the 5 agorot coin was also removed from circulation.|
|Italy||1918 to 2002, 2018 onwards||1 and 2 centesimi coins were last minted in 1918 and demonetized in 1924. All coins smaller than 1 lira were demonetized in 1947. 1 and 2 lire coins were last issued for circulation in 1959, then prices were rounded to the nearest 5 lire, although 1 and 2 lire coins remained legal tender. In the early 1990s, 5, 10 and 20 lire started to disappear from circulation, but they remained legal tender, making the 50 lire the smallest commonly used coin, until being withdrawn upon introduction of the euro in 2002.
Since 1 January 2018 the Italian Mint discontinued the issuance of 1 cent and 2 cent Euro coins; when payment is made in cash, some sellers round up or down to the nearest multiple of five cents. As of 2022, many sellers still give and accept 1 and 2 cent coins, as there's still plenty of pre-2018 coins in circulation, and more recent coins issued in other Eurozone countries too.
|Kazakhstan||1- and 2-tenge coins are rarely used in Kazakhstan, and prices are normally rounded to the nearest 5 tenge.|
|Malaysia||2008 onwards||In 2007, Bank Negara announced the cessation of 1 sen coin production and was removed from circulation by 2011, although those coins remain legal tender. The Malaysia government announced the introduction of a Rounding Mechanism to the nearest multiple of 5 sen for over-the-counter payments to be fully implemented by 1 April 2008.
The total amount of a bill which ends in 1, 2, 6 and 7 sen will be rounded down while the total bill which ends in 3, 4, 8 and 9 sen will be rounded up to the nearest multiple of 5 sen.
|Mexico||2002 onwards||5 centavo coins no longer produced as of 2002. Retailers now generally round their prices to the next 10 centavos.|
|Moldova||2017 onwards||Minting of the 1-ban coin was stopped in 2017 and has slowly been removed from circulation. The 5-bani coin is the smallest denomination currently found in circulation in Moldova.|
|Netherlands||1980 to 2002, 2004 onwards||In 1980 the production of the Dutch 1 cent coin (0.01 guilder) ceased and the coinage was demonetised in the same year (at that time no coins between 1 and 5 cent existed). After introduction of the Euro in 2002, the Netherlands used 1 and 2 Eurocents (equivalent to about 2.2 and 4.4 Guilder cents) until 2004.
In 2004 the Netherlands discontinued issue and use of 1 and 2 Euro cent coins. The Netherlands did so under pressure from retail businesses, which claimed that dealing with 1- and 2-cent coins was too expensive. After a successful experiment in the town of Woerden in May 2004, retailers in the whole of the Netherlands have been permitted to round cash transactions to the nearest five cents since September 2004.
|New Zealand||1990 to 2006||From 1990 to 2006, the 1- and 2-cent coins were no longer legal tender, but 5-cent coins were. From 2006, the 5-cent coin was no longer legal tender.|
|Peru||2011 to 2019||The one-céntimo coin was removed from circulation on 1 May 2011. It remained in place until the removal of the five-céntimo coin in 2019.|
|Romania||2005 onwards||One ban coins (worth 100 old lei) are legal tender but rarely encountered in circulation. Rounding is done to the nearest five bani.|
|Singapore||2011 onwards||The one-cent coin is no longer in production but still legal tender. Always rounded down.|
|Slovakia||2022 onwards||The one and two Euro cent coins were removed from circulation from July 1.|
|South Africa||2002 to 2012||Rounding is done to the nearest 5 cents, as by then, 1- and 2-cent coins had not been produced due to their minuscule value and inflation having devalued them.|
|Sweden||1972 to 1985||1- and 2-öre coins were phased out.|
|Switzerland||2007 onwards||The 1-centime/Rappen coin was still produced until 2006 and legal tender until 2007 although it had already fallen out of common use long before.|
|Trinidad and Tobago||2018 onwards||1¢ coins are no longer produced as of 2014. In 2018, they lost their status as legal tender.|
|Turkey||1 kuruş coins are still legal tender.|
|United Arab Emirates||1, 5, and 10 fils coins are seldom encountered in everyday life.|
|Vanuatu||2011 onwards||1 and 2 vatu coins (and other coins in the old coinage series) are still legal tender.|
|Vietnam||500 dong notes are uncommon but sometimes used. Prices are usually rounded to 1,000 dong, with small candies or pieces of chewing gum given as compensation for rounding up.|
- Prices are rounded down to the nearest multiple of 5 cents for sales ending in: 1¢ & 2¢ (rounded to 0¢); and 6¢ & 7¢ (rounded to 5¢). This is done, for example, in Canada.
- Prices are rounded up to the nearest multiple of 5 cents for sales ending in: 3¢ & 4¢ (round to 5¢); and 8¢ & 9¢ (round to 10¢). This is also done in Canada, for example.
- Values ending in 0¢ or 5¢ remain unchanged.
Rounding with 0.10 or 10 intervals
This is currently used in New Zealand, which eliminated its 5 cent coin in 2006, and in Hong Kong, which eliminated its 5 cent coin in 1989 and 1 cent coin in 1995. In practice only utility bills, petrol stations and banks still keep the cent. All other businesses use only ten cent intervals.
- round down to the nearest 10 cent value for sales ending in 1 to 4 cents;
- round up to the nearest 10 cent value for sales ending in 5 to 9 cents;
- it is up to the business to decide if it will round 5¢ intervals up or down. The majority of retailers follow government advice and round it down.
In Sweden between 1985 and 1992, prices were rounded up for sales ending in 5 öre.
In China, coins smaller than 1 jiao (10 fen or ¥0.10) are now rare though still valid. As a result, many shops simply truncate their bills down to the next 1-jiao increment, giving the customer a discount of up to 9 fen; however, many other stores round sales to the nearest jiao values, and 5 fen is usually rounded up.
In Chile, the 1 and 5 peso coins were withdrawn on November 1, 2017 (but still legal tender), and rounding for cash transactions was implemented, prices are rounded down to the nearest 10 pesos if the value is $1–5, and rounded up if the value is $6–9. Most prices are already rounded to the nearest 10 pesos, and many small businesses round to 50 or 100 pesos due to the low value and availability of lower denominations.
In Israel, 5 agorot coins were removed from circulation on 1 January 2008, after 1 agora coins had already been removed in 1991. Transaction amounts can still be specified to the nearest agora. Cash purchase totals are rounded to the nearest 10 agorot. A 5 agorot total is rounded up to 10 agorot.
In South Korea, the 1- and 5-won coins are not used (but still legal tender). Prices are generally rounded to the nearest 10 won (though generally to the nearest 50 or 100 won in many stores apart from supermarkets), and cash payments are rounded to the same.
In Ukraine, from 1 October 2019, the 1-, 2- & 5-kopiyka coins were demonetized and withdrawn from circulation, with the 25-kopiyok coin softly withdrawn. From then all cash payments would be rounded to the nearest 10 kopiyok.
In Peru, the 1-céntimo coin was discontinued in 2011, and the 5-céntimo followed in 2019. Prices are now rounded to the nearest 10 céntimos.
In South Africa, the production of 1 and 2 cent coins was discontinued in 2002, followed by 5 cent coins in 2012, primarily due to inflation having devalued them, but they remain legal tender. Prices are nowadays rounded to the nearest 10 cents.
Rounding with 0.25 intervals
The system used in Denmark from 1989 to 2008 is the following:
- Sales ending in 1–12 øre round down to 0 øre.
- Sales ending in 13–37 øre round to 25 øre.
- Sales ending in 38–62 øre round to 50 øre.
- Sales ending in 63–87 øre round to 75 øre.
- Sales ending in 88–99 øre round up to the next whole krone.
This is also the system used in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, as the smallest coin in general circulation is the 25-fils/dirham coin, and that the 1-, 5- and 10-fils/dirham coins are rarely encountered due to their negligible value.
Rounding with 0.50 intervals
The system used in Sweden from 1992 to 2010, in Norway from 1993 to 2012, and in Denmark since 1 October 2008 is the following:
- Sales ending in 1–24 öre/øre round down to 0 öre.
- Sales ending in 25–49 öre/øre round up to 50 öre.
- Sales ending in 51–74 öre/øre round down to 50 öre.
- Sales ending in 75–99 öre/øre round up to the next whole krona.
In practice, the proportion of transactions rounded upwards is greater, due to psychological pricing of items ending in 90–99 öre. Rounding is only done on the total sum of a purchase, which makes that effect smaller. In some shops, all prices are already rounded to the whole krone, so that no rounding takes place.
This system is also used in India after the 25-paisa coin and lower denominations were demonetised in 2011.
This system is also used in Nigeria since 2007, when all coins issued before 2006 were demonetised, leaving the 50 kobo coin the only circulating denomination below one naira.
Rounding with 1.00 intervals
- Sales ending in 1–49 öre/øre round down to 0 öre/øre.
- Sales ending in 50–99 öre/øre round up to the next whole krona/krone.
In Mexico there is a trend for most supermarkets to ask customers whether to round the total to the nearest 50¢ or the whole peso to automatically donate the difference to charities. Should the customer choose the latter option, this system is used.
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Most retailers use a Swedish system of rounding prices up or down to the nearest 5c. ... All we would do is use the Swedish rounding system to the nearest 10c
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