Big Profits from Small Change

With a little bit of planning, savvy retail owners of self-service coin counters can leverage their investment to keep their register bells ringing merrily this holiday season. The key is to appeal to “forever frugal” customers who have been saving up their coins all year long, with an eye to beefing up their holiday spending budgets.

Research shows that in 80 percent of U.S. households, at least one person saves loose change. And many are highly likely to turn these coins into cash at the start of the holiday shopping season. Retailers typically see coin counter volumes increase by 16 percent in November and 8 percent in December, with customers redeeming an average of $305 in collected coins.

Retailers can find plenty of holiday cheer in this potential spending power, particularly if they’re properly prepared to capitalize on the opportunity. That’s because coin counters owned and operated by retailers can net seven percent or more on each transaction. In addition, retailers profit from in-store purchases.

By implementing smart marketing strategies now, retailers can maximize profitability and help ensure redeemed cash is spent inside their store. These include:

  • If you’ve got a self-service coin machine, flaunt it. Nearly 80 percent of customers learn about self-service coin machines simply by walking past coin counter. By aggressively promoting their machines via circulars, receipt slip reminders and the store’s website, retailers can help raise awareness and motivate more customers to turn their loose change into holiday spending money.
  • Create – and refresh – custom graphics, signage and screen displays for the holiday season. It pays to use the machines themselves to attract attention and boost customer usage and word-or-mouth advertising.
  • Take advantage of cross-marketing. Promote seasonal items and high-margin gift items through on-screen advertising on the machines and/or by positioning select products around the self-service coin counter.

Keep in mind that cash in hand is the top motivator for customers to convert loose change into spendable dollars. So the faster and more easily retailers can help customers make that happen, the better – and the more likely customers will immediately spend some of that money in the store.

As a result, self-service coin counters that dispense an immediate cash payout at the machine can help bolster bottom lines, and customer satisfaction, in a number of ways, such as:

1. Customers who are less stressed and have more time are likely to shop longer and spend more. Easy and intuitive to operate, self-service coin counters that pay out at the machine help customers make the most of their limited time by enabling them to complete transactions quickly and eliminating the need to wait in long lines at the customer service counter to redeem receipts during busy holiday hours. Instead, customers receive immediate cash and dive into their holiday shopping without delay.

2. Coin counters with direct payment to customers free up your employees to help you meet the increased demands of the holiday season. Employees who are no longer tied up at service counters paying out coin redemption receipts can focus on serving customers and other value-added tasks, wherever in the store they can be most productive.

3. Convenient, easy-to-use self-service coin counters attract both current and new customers, increasing store traffic during the year’s busiest shopping season. Plus, high customer satisfaction helps generate repeat business and plenty of word-of-mouth advertising to bring in additional customers.

Possibly the best gift of all for retailers is that by providing quick, easy redemption of coins and fast pay out of cash during the holiday season, self-service coin counters improve the customer experience – and reinforce customer loyalty that lasts all year long.

Editor’s Note: Jim Weaks is VP, Business Unit Manager for Cummins Allison, a global leader in developing technologies which count, sort and authenticate currency. The U.S.-based company has a 125 year heritage of leadership in technology and product innovation and currently serves the majority of financial institutions worldwide, as well as leading organizations in retail, casinos, law enforcement and government. The company holds more than 350 U.S. patents and has ongoing research and development (R&D) investments double the industry average. With headquarters near Chicago and R&D centers near San Diego and Philadelphia and wholly owned subsidiaries in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and France, Cummins Allison has an extensive sales and service network with more than 50 offices in North America and is represented in over 70 countries. For more information, visit

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