Canadian penny discontinued

Businesses will round customers' change to the nearest five cents

The discontinuation of the Canadian penny means paying with cash will be more complicated than before.

The Royal Canadian Mint officially discontinued distribution of the penny today, causing businesses to round the cost when customers pay with cash. University students now say they expect to use debit more often.

Zach Beghetto, an employee at Subway, said students paying with cash should expect their change to be rounded.

The Canadian Mint officially retired the penny today. (Photo Violet MacLeod)
The Canadian Mint officially retired the penny today. (Photo Violet MacLeod)

He explained, “If it’s $6.49 it would be $6.50 but if it was .46 or .47 it would be $6.45.”

Students paying with debit or credit will not be subject to rounding.

Emily MacDonald, first-year King’s student, says she will definitely be using debit rather than cash when paying for merchandise.

Lauren McNeil, a St. Francis Xavier University student, agreed that debit will also be her payment method of choice in light of the Canadian penny’s extinction,

“I’ll probably use debit more now that they’re rounding prices.”

Canadian pennies ranged from 95.5 to 98 per cent copper until 1997 when  the Mint switched to 98.4 per cent zinc then in 2000 to 94 per cent steel. The Mint issued 662,750,000 pennies in 2011.

Check out student reactions about the disappearing penny:

(Video: Jessamyn Griffin)