BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

February 20, 2013 09:00 ET

BMO Survey: You Haven't Seen the Last of the Penny, Say Canadians

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 20, 2013) - According to a survey by BMO Bank of Montreal, three-quarters (73 per cent) of Canadians expect retailers, including small businesses, to continue accepting pennies at the check-out - regardless of the circumstances or purchase amount - despite plans for their elimination. In addition, the survey also found that 59 per cent of Canadians expect small businesses to adjust prices in the consumers' favour and 57 per cent expect adjustment to be in the retailers favour.

"Successful Canadian business owners not only have the products and services Canadians want, but also a strong focus on meeting the needs and expectations of their customers. With this move to phase out the penny, there can be little doubt that Canadian business will continue to do what they need to, to maintain and strengthen the important relationships they have with their customers," said Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "As the penny is phased out, small businesses overall should not experience a noticeable difference in the number of transactions because many retailers are also set up to accept debit and credit card transactions."

The survey, conducted by Pollara, also revealed:

  • Nearly two-thirds (66 per cent) of those surveyed currently pay for their daily purchases with a debit or credit card
  • The majority (67 per cent) of Canadians believe speed of service will increase as fewer customers will pay with loose change

The Federal government has proposed voluntary guidelines for retailers, including: rounding down if the price ends in a one, two, six or seven and rounding up if the price ends in a three, four, eight or nine.

"Some small businesses may adjust their cash registers, while others may encourage their employees to round the bill manually after taxes have been added to the sub-total," Mr. Murphy added.

Business owners looking to lighten their pockets can use one of BMO's many coin-counting machines. For more information, please visit; to find a BMO coin counter near you, please visit

BMO's Penny Survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights. The survey results cited in this release are from online interviews with a random sample of 1,400 Canadians 18 years of age and older, carried out between February 7th and February 10th, 2013. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 2.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $525 billion as at October 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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