SINGAPORE: A dim sum shop recently got people talking after posting a hand-written notice informing customers that it does not accept 5-cent coins. The sign started an online conversation on small coins still being money.

An online user took to the online Complaint Singapore Facebook group to share a photo of a handwritten sign posted at the counter of an establishment selling dim sum. “5-cent coins NOT accepted!!!” the sign read. The netizen, however, questioned the reason for putting up such a sign, saying, “5-cent coins not accepted? 5-cent (coins are) not money?”

The post proved to be quite a conversation starter, with a handful of netizens taking to the comments section to share their two cents on the matter (no pun intended). While some did not agree with the sign, others cited Section 13(4) of the Currency Act 1967.

According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) website, “Pursuant to section 13(4) of the Currency Act 1967, vendors may provide a written notice to customers stating either or both of the following:

  • If they do not wish to accept as payment for their goods or services, any or all of the denominations of currency notes or coins, the denominations of notes or coins that they will not accept as payment.
  • If they wish to limit the quantity of any denomination of notes or coins that they will accept in a transaction, such limit on the quantity.”
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MAS adds, “The written notice serves to allow vendors to highlight the proposed terms of payment to the customer and help inform the customer’s decision on whether to go ahead with a transaction.

This aims to strike a balance between providing flexibility to vendors to set the terms of transactions, including the terms of payment, while ensuring that customers are aware of these terms and can decide if they are agreeable before proceeding with the transaction.”