S’pore to allow only 20 coins per denomination per transaction

So, that's S$37 in total.

Belmont Lay | January 17, 06:31 pm


Gone are the days you can pay for a S$20,000 watch or car with a bag of S$1 coins.

This is so as the Currency (Amendment) Bill was passed in Parliament on Monday, Jan. 14.

The number of coins a buyer can use in a single transaction has been streamlined and standardised.

The purpose is to cut out the hassle caused by excessive coin-counting by businesses.

How it works

The new rule states that a total of 20 coins per denomination per transaction is allowed.

5 cent (20 pieces) = S$1
10 cents (20 pieces) = S$2
20 cents (20 pieces) = S$4
50 cents (20 pieces) = S$10
S$1 (20 pieces) = S$20

Total: S$37

This means a total of 100 coins across all five coin denominations is capped for each payment.

The S$1 coin is coming under the legal tender limit for the first time.

What was previous rule

Previously, the rules were more confusing.

The 5 cents, 10 cents and 20 cents coins have a limit of S$2 each, while 50 cents coins have a S$10 cap.

S$1 coins could be used for payment without limit.

Two cases in 2014

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung presented the second reading of the Bill on behalf of Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and minister-in-charge of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Ong, an MAS board member, explained that the central bank’s move to include S$1 coins under the legal tender limits is the result of two cases in 2014.

One involved the payment of nearly S$20,000 worth of coins at a car dealer’s showroom, while the other saw a mobile shop in Sim Lim Square issuing refunds of about S$1,000 in coins.

The limits now have become “much simpler” compared to existing ones with this revision.

Second reading of Bill in Parliament

Ong said legal tender limits will minimise inconvenience to businesses and their customers.

Legal tender limits refer to the maximum amounts for each coin denomination that can be used in a single payment.

Previously, varying pegs were used and it can be confusing, Ong said.

The use of a value limit is also less relevant given that the processing time and effort for coin payments depend more on the number of coins used, instead of the coins’ total value.


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