Response to Letter "5-cent coins being rejected for payment” - The Straits Times, 6 September 2020
We thank Mr Cheng Choon Fei for his suggestions in his letter of 6 September 2020 entitled "5-cent coins being rejected for payment”.
2 Mr Cheng is correct to point out that the Currency Act provides for a customer to make payment in all currency notes and coins, up to a limit of 20 coins per denomination for each transaction.
3 However, the Currency Act also allows vendors to set a lower limit, or choose not to accept any denomination of currency coins or notes, provided that the vendor gives written notice to customers prior to a transaction. This is because the payment for goods and services is essentially a contractual agreement between a willing buyer and willing seller. Neither party can be forced to enter into the transaction; both must do so willingly.
4 The requirement for a written notice places the responsibility on vendors to inform their potential customers, how they would like to be paid. It aims to strike a balance between offering convenience to customers on using cash and allowing businesses to specify the different forms of payment accepted, including currency denominations in the case of cash payment.
Director (Corporate Communications)
Monetary Authority of Singapore