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WaWa, Giant begin asking for 'exact change' as coronavirus leads to nationwide coin shortage

Businesses are beginning to ask customers to pay with exact change after the coronavirus pandemic led to a nationwide coin shortage. 

WaWa, a popular convenience store in New Jersey and the East Coast, has told customers to either pay with credit or debit cards, mobile app or exact change amid the recent currency shortages, 6ABC in Philadelphia reported.

The chain is reportedly giving customers the opportunity to round their total to the nearest dollar by donating to their charity foundation. 

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A spokesperson for the grocery store chain Giant also told the Fox affiliate that they would only be taking exact change when customers pay with cash.

The U.S. Federal Reserve warned about a coin shortage last month. 

At a House Financial Services Committee hearing on June 17, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that coronavirus-related shutdowns have raised concerns about the circulation of coins, which the Fed's 12 regional banks are responsible for supplying to commercial banks.

On June 11 the federal reserve issued a rationing order, cutting down the amount of coins they are supplying to regional banks. The shortage is in part due to the U.S. mints shutting down temporarily due to coronavirus restrictions.

“With the partial closure of the economy, the flow of funds through the economy has stopped,” Powell said. “We are working with the Mint and the Reserve Banks and as the economy reopens we are starting to see money move around again.”