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Canadian cents spilling outOlga Utlyakova/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Starting Monday, the federal government is encouraging businesses  to round cash transactions to the nearest nickel. After Monday, the Royal Canadian Mint will no longer ship pennies to businesses or banks. Already last May, it stopped producing pennies.

What will retailers do?

Most retailers are expected to follow the federal government guidelines to round cash transactions (including tax) to the nearest nickel.

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. and Home Depot Canada are among retailers that will round down transactions to the nearest nickel.

Almost 53 per cent of retailers are ready for the phase out of the penny, according to a retail council survey.

Smaller retailers are expected to do rounding manually, at least at first, since revamping cash-register systems for the rounding can cost $100,000 or more.

Can I still use pennies at stores?

Consumers can continue to use pennies for cash transactions with businesses that choose to accept them after Feb. 4.

What can I do with my pennies?

Canadians can redeem their pennies at their financial institution, which may require that pennies be properly rolled. Canadians can also consider donating them to charities.

What happens if I use debit or credit?

The changes only affect cash purchases, which make up an estimated 22 per cent of transactions, according to the Retail Council of Canada.

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