Last year the Canadian Government announced, as part of its Economic Plan 2012, that it will eliminate the penny from Canada’s coinage system since the cost to produce it has surpassed its value as a means of payment.

The Royal Canadian Mint ceased distribution of pennies to banks in the Fall of 2012. Businesses will be asked to return pennies through their financial institutions for melting and recycling of the metal content starting on February 4th, 2013.

Here is what the government is telling Canadian retailers about this plan:

  • Consumers can continue to use pennies for cash transactions indefinitely when buying goods and services.

  • Businesses should not round the prices for individual items. Only the final total price should be rounded.

  • Electronic payments (debit and credit card transactions) as well as cheque payments will not be rounded and should be done at the nearest cent.

  • Businesses should not automatically round the final total price if consumers have the exact change.

  • Sales taxes will not be rounded. Only the final total should be rounded.

  • The penny will retain its value indefinitely and continue to be legal tender. Businesses are encouraged to continue to accept the coin as a means of payment.

Impact On Your Store

According to the government, there isn’t any! It maintains that you don’t need to update your POS systems for rounding – just rely on your sales staff to do the math every time a customer pays with cash. Yet they require you to round totals in a fair, consistent, and transparent manner. That may seem to ignore the realities of managing a sales counter staffed with associates and part-timers. It opens the door to human errors, slowdowns and possible frustrations at the checkout. After all, who wants to wait in line while the sales clerk gets into a discussion about correct rounding with another customer. For most retailers it is likely a “best practice” to streamline the rounding process with a Point-of-Sale system capable of solving the problem for all concerned.

How Does It Work?

The amount payable is rounded only if:

  • the method of payment is set to Cash;
  • the amount payable is not already a multiple of the minimum tender;
  • the amount tendered does not equal the amount payable.

This is done in order to comply with the requirement that your customers should always have the option to pay exact change which they can do as long as there are still some pennies out there. If a total has been rounded then the printed receipt will show “Rounded Total”.

If You Are New To Retail Plus

Click here to go to our download page and get an evaluation copy of the software. It is a fully functioning program but remains time limited without a license key. Once it is installed go to the Setup screen / Options tab and change Minimum Tender to 0.05.

If You Already Have Retail Plus Version 3.0

Just download the latest free program revision. This is an update installer that will not affect your data. Be sure to close Retail Plus before installing the update. Once it is installed go to the Setup screen / Options tab and change Minimum Tender to 0.05. That’s all – the rest will be taken care of automatically.

If You Have an Older Version Of Retail Plus

You will need to upgrade to version 3.0. You can see the upgrading instructions here and purchase a license key at the upgrade price here. Once it is installed go to the Setup screen / Options tab and change Minimum Tender to 0.05.

For more information about this or any other aspect of Retail Plus Point-Of-Sale please call our toll free support line at 888-272-4874 or email us at