Coins are in circulation once more

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Al-Riyadh newspaper

Coins are back in circulation following the decision of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) to replace SR1 notes with coins. I’ll explain why coins should be used instead of notes, although some countries are shifting to smart cards or smartphones as modes of payment. In fact, some people believe that banknotes will eventually disappear.

However, German-based Giesecke & Devrient, the global pioneer in providing banknotes, said that banknotes would not disappear from our daily life despite rising digitization. The printing of banknotes in Europe and other parts of the world has increased. European Central Bank statistics show the number of banknotes in circulation in the region reached 21.4 billion last year and has increased threefold. On the other hand, the rise in the volume of e-commerce increases the use of electronic payment methods, which have been growing fast.

What is the benefit of coins compared to banknotes? Some people say coins are dangerous because children might swallow them, although coins have been in circulation for hundreds of years and do not pose any danger as such. Coins last longer than banknotes; they can stay in circulation for 25 years while the age of banknotes does not exceed two years. Printing banknotes costs a lot of money. Coins are needed for everyday transactions.

We should not marginalize coins; they are easy to circulate. In fact, their circulation will increase after SAMA stops issuing the SR1 note.


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