• A Midwestern bank launched a Coin Buy Back Program offering a $5 bonus for every $100 worth of coins.
  • Both customers and non-customers participated in the program, which successfully hit its goal a week after the program launched.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on coin circulation and impacted smaller coin-reliant businesses.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Community State Bank in Wisconsin recently launched a new incentive to help fight the coin shortage that’s made its way across the US.

The Wisconsin bank launched a Coin Buy Back Program offering a $5 bonus for every $100 worth of coins turned into any of its seven locations, as reported by CNN. Community State Bank patrons as well as non-bank customers were eligible to participate in the program for up to a max coin bonus of $500.

A week after debuting the program, the bank hit its goal and announced the incentives would expire at the end of the July 21 business day.

“We knew we needed to figure something out. We hate the idea of telling our customers, ‘No, we can’t give you one of the services we’re proud to provide,’ so we came up with a creative way to get things done,” Community State Bank Vice President Neil Buchanan said. “Just because this hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it isn’t going to work – and it has already made a huge difference.”

The move by the Midwestern bank is the latest example of local businesses and small banks across the country seeking to combat the coin shortage in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Another bank in Wisconsin, Bank of Sun Prairie, recently asked its customers to deposit coins, though it did not offer a bonus, according to news site Channel 3000.

Community State Bank said it had seen strong participation and called the turnout a success.

"We received an abundance of coin in a short amount of time," said AVP Retail Operations Director, Katie Stolp. "I've never seen anything like it. We're very fortunate that we have the tools and ability to process all of the coins. That coin is now being put to good use and helping local business owners all over Southeast Wisconsin."

None of the major US banks have announced plans to pay customers a bonus to bring in coins, but Wells Fargo said it was "actively managing our coin inventory and working with customers to meet their coin needs to the extent possible after the Federal Reserve put limitations on coin deliveries to all financial institutions nationwide."

The coronavirus has taken a toll on coin circulation, according to the Federal Reserve. Lately, the reduced pace of circulation has led to inadequate quantities of coins, which has impacted small, coin-reliant businesses and large retailers alike.

"In the past few months, coin deposits from depository institutions to the Federal Reserve have declined significantly and the U.S. Mint's production of coin also decreased due to measures put in place to protect its employees," the Federal Reserve said in a statement on June 11. "The Federal Reserve is working on several fronts to mitigate the effects of low coin inventories."

Community State Bank said it's keeping an eye on its coin inventory, and is open to bringing the incentive program back if needed.