Latte brilliance: Rafat Ali points to news that Coinstar [a concept this weblog admits it “didn’t get” until seeing a recent cable program exploring the exciting history of the U.S. Mint (we don’t get out much)] is testing a pilot program where instead of getting back cash for dumping five lbs. of loose coins into the machine, you get something more practical: Credit on your Starbucks card. And the best part is, the coin-dropper does not have to pay the 8.9 percent fee. We envision a day very soon when loose change will be purchasing People magazine subscriptions the same way.
About this weblog “getting” Coinstar. We came to realize that most people are so lazy busy that a 9% fee was small-change (sorry) for getting rid of that bucket of pennies in the closet. More importantly, the Coinstar concept is so effective, it is causing a dramatic reduction in the demand for the U.S. Mint to make new coins…which is a very good thing, it turns out.