From next week, October 28 shops across Ireland will start rounding change to the nearest 5 cent.

1c and 2c coins are small and fiddly and from next week you will see fewer of them in use. At that date shops will start a voluntary scheme where your final bill will be rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cent.

If your final bill is €6.22 it will be rounded down to €6.20. But if it is €6.23 the final bill will be rounded up to €6.25

It is expected that consumer will lose on some transactions and gain on others so the final effect will be the same. Except that you won't have a pocket of 1 and 2 cent pieces.

We first reported on this plan 4 months ago when we outlined the result of a rounding experiment that took place in Wexford. The result of that experiment was a positive response from both retailers and consumers.

Similar schemes have been in place in a number of European countries such as The Netherlands for many years and have been seen to work effectively.

In Ireland the scheme is voluntary on both the retailers and customers part so you can ask for and expect to get the exact change if you want.

The Central Bank has put together a description of the process and a representative explains it in the video below.

Ronnie O'Toole of the Central Bank explains the voluntary rounding scheme

Posted by RTÉ News on Monday, October 19, 2015