Letters to Editor
Published Date: 10 September 2020

Response to Letter "5-cent coins being rejected for payment” - The Straits Times, 6 September 2020


Dear Editor,

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.

5      More information can be found at https://www.mas.gov.sg/currency/What-is-Legal-Tender .

Jerome Lee
Director (Corporate Communications)
Monetary Authority of Singapore