Over 230 delegates from more than 30 countries attended The Coin Conference which took place in Madrid in October 2015.

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The Coin Conference and Spanish Mint Celebrate in Madrid

Madrid was chosen for The Coin Conference 2015, not only because it is a beautiful, historic and cultural city, but also because the Royal Spanish Mint (Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre, generally referred to as FNMT) was celebrating its 400th anniversary.

To commemorate the special occasion, FNMT invited Coin Conference delegates, along with other guests, to an unforgettable evening of art, classical music and opera, followed by a banquet featuring local food and wine.

It was held – thanks to FNMT’s close relationship since the 18th century with the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of St Fernando (founded by King Fernando IV in 1752) – in their historic 17th century building, the Goyeneche Palace, designed by Churriguera. Works by Juan de Juanes, Ribera, Arcimboldo, Goya, Tintoretto, Rubens, Murillo and Picasso were available for viewing in the art gallery by guests prior to an entertaining classical concert in the historic Great Hall, and then the banquet.

 

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But it was all business next day once the hotel’s maze had been overcome and the workshops, which were a sell-out, located.

The first, coordinated by Davorin Dragas and Thomas Köninger of MONEA, focused on the do’s and don’ts when writing technical specifications for coins. Good discussions on ambiguous aspects ensured much was learned.

The afternoon workshop focused on innovative challenges for circulating coins. This was coordinated by Dieter Merkle of Schuler Pressen who was assisted by Markus Floeth of the Bundesbank and Coin National Analysis Centre discussing euro coin counterfeits and security, Peter Huber of the Baden Wurttenburg State Mint introducing the tri material Coin, Klaus Meyer-Steffans representing the European Vending Association discussing coin validation, and Scott Kuperus of The Royal Mint on securing the UK £1 coin.

Five key aspects of coins – attractiveness, innovation, public perception, security and trust – were rated in importance by a ballot of the delegates, split into central banks and others, before the workshop and then after. Delegates were very surprised how the voting had changed 180 degrees – and according to Dieter, for the better!

 

Conference Sessions

On 22 October, after a formal welcome from FNMT, the plenary sessions started, as do most cash industry conferences these days, with a few facts from the conference Co-Chair Gonzalo Santamaria, indicating the massive changes currently taking place in payments, all of which are a threat to cash. We were, hopefully, going to find out at this conference just how big that threat is, and when we might feel the impact.

The scene was further set by the other Co Chair and Currency News Editor Astrid Mitchell, who gave a breathtakingly fast update of the global coin situation and changes in the last two years. Since 2012, circulation volumes have increased from 846 to 973 billion and annual demand from 42 to 49 billion! Where were these new forms of payments?

Since 2012, circulation volumes have increased from 846 to 973 billion

But treated to useful facts and trends from around the world, it became apparent that all is not well and real threats loom, ranging from internal factors such as the elimination of low denomination coins and over-capacity to new forms of payment. The conference’s main objective was to review the threats and opportunities facing the industry.

Genie Foster of IACA provided a summary of central bank studies on the changes in cash usage taking place around the world, followed by Rüdiger Voss of the European Commission who indicated some of the current challenges for euro coins in the absence of a common understanding of the scope and effects of euro cash (in terms of coins) as legal tender .

In the second session, the central banks of Sweden, Tanzania, Italy and Spain described their very different strategies for coins, while the third session on optimising coin management and distribution benefited from papers from the Federal Reserve, the Dutch Central Bank, Brian Lang (ex Reserve Bank of New Zealand and now IACA) and Prosegur.

The final session of the day covered security and authentication, a subject increasingly concerning most countries with high denomination coins. Four different topics were covered – the latest security technologies from The Royal Mint, the use of powder metallurgy to create secure stainless steel coins from Reischauer, the quadruple latent image feature from FNMT, and enhanced security plated zinc products from Jarden Zinc.

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The first session on the second day featured three very different aspects of corporate, environmental and social responsibility from the Mint of Finland (which made the business case for social responsibility), from Global Coin Solutions on the business and charitable benefits of foreign coin repatriation, and from the Royal Canadian Mint on the elimination of cyanide in coin production.

It was followed by the only panel discussion but its provocative title –‘Cash, Cash-less or Cashless’ attracted a full house. It didn’t disappoint – moderated by Jonathan Ward of Secure Monde, the three distinguished panelists Jon Cameron of the US Mint, Brendan Doyle, CEO of CMS (Cash Management Solutions) and Margaret Doyle of Deloitte each discussed the potential disruption to payments from technology innovation and from government policy.

All three presentations, using interesting facts and figures but from very different viewpoints, agreed on one indisputable fact – there are major changes and challenges ahead. The discussion, not surprisingly given the level of risk to the industry and the high stakes, was lively.

The first of the final two sessions focused on cost efficiencies and featured an analysis from the US Mint, which indicated the status quo for its coins to be the most cost effective policy for the country, while a presentations from the Central Bank of Barbados and the Bank of Tanzania described savings from withdrawal of the 1 cent coin and replacing the 500 Shilling banknote with a coin respectively.

In the final session on Engaging the Public, we heard probably the most innovative way yet of ensuring coins circulate, namely the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s use – as described by Currency Manager Lydia Up – of converted trucks to travel around accepting coins from the public, counting and sorting them, and paying out banknotes.

Several of these papers will be covered in greater depth in subsequent issues of Coin News and Mint News Quarterly.

The conference started with the cloud of alternative payments hanging over it. But it ended with optimism that, although there may be changes ahead, there’s plenty of life left in coins yet. Coin manufacturers are meeting the challenges with new technologies aimed at cost savings and improved security for higher denominations, and coin issuers with innovative ways of keeping circulating coins attractive to the public.

The Coin Conference was created because of the need to bring together all those parties involved in circulating coins so they could discuss and improve this important means of payment that has been used in everyday life for millennia.

Its success is illustrated by the third conference attracting more delegates (240) than the second and the second more that the first.

The next event will take place in Europe in 2017 and will maintain the trend as the industry continues through a greater period of change and challenge than ever before.

Attendees

The organisations that joined us in Madrid

  • AGIS (France)
  • Altek Dokum Hadde (Turkey)
  • Arrandene (UK)
  • Azkoyen (Spain)
  • Baden-Wurttemberg State Mint (Germany)
  • Banco de España (Spain)
  • Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Philippines)
  • Bank Al-Maghrib (Morocco)
  • Bank Indonesia
  • Bank Negara Malaysia
  • Bank of Algeria
  • Bank of Italy
  • Bank of Korea
  • Bank of Mexico
  • Bank of Tanzania
  • Bank of Uganda
  • Bank of Zambia
  • Bavarian State Mint (Germany)
  • Casa de Moneda de Chile
  • Casa de Moneda Republica Argentina
  • Cash Management Solutions (UK)
  • Central Bank of Barbados
  • Central Bank of Oman
  • Central Bank of the UAE
  • Coin Wrap (USA)
  • CoinsWeekly/MintWorld (Germany)
  • Compañía Europea de Cospeles (Spain)
  • Consolidated Coin Company (India)
  • Crane Payment Innovations (USA)
  • Crane Payment Solutions (Germany)
  • Cummins-Allison Corporation (USA)
  • Currency News (UK)
  • Czech National Bank
  • Danmarks Nationalbank (Denmark)
  • De Nederlandsche Bank (Netherlands)
  • Deloitte (Cyprus)
  • Deutsche Bundesbank (Germany)
  • DUCS (Netherlands)
  • European Central Bank (Germany)
  • European Commission (Belgium)
  • European Security Transport Association (Belgium)
  • Excellent Corporation (Bangladesh)
  • Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (USA)
  • Federal Reserve Board (USA)
  • FNMT (Spain)
  • Freiberger EuroMetall (Germany)
  • Giesecke & Devrient (Germany)
  • Global Coin Solutions (Canada)
  • Glory Global Solutions (Germany)
  • Graebener Pressensysteme (Germany)
  • GURT (Russia)
  • HESS Cash Systems (Germany)
  • HME Minting (UK)
  • Hong Kong Monetary Authority
  • Hotel des Monnaies de la Banque d’Algeria
  • InduVis (Germany)
  • Inea Automation (Switzerland)
  • Innovative Technology (UK)
  • International Association of Currency Affairs (USA)
  • International Reference Systems (Netherlands)
  • Italchimici (Italy)
  • Japan Mint
  • Jarden Zinc (USA)
  • KBA-NotaSys (Switzerland)
  • Lithuanian Mint
  • Luminescence International (UK)
  • Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Hungary)
  • MDM Munzhandelgesellschaft (Germany)
  • Miba Deutschland (Austria)
  • Mincovňa Kremnica (Slovak Republic)
  • Mint of Finland (Suomen Rahapja Oy)
  • Mint of Norway
  • Mint of Poland
  • Mittal Appliances (India)
  • Monea (UK)
  • Monnaie de Paris (France)
  • Mühlbauer (Germany)
  • National Bank of Poland
  • National Bank of Ukraine
  • National Bank of Ukraine - Banknote Printing & Minting Works
  • NGZ (Germany)
  • Norges Bank (Norway)
  • Orfix International (Germany)
  • PERCEVAL Consulting (Hong Kong)
  • Permaquim (Argentina)
  • PNO Global Banknote & Security Solutions (Netherlands/Hong Kong)
  • Poongsan Corporation (Korea)
  • Proditec (France)
  • Prosegur (Spain)
  • Qatar Central Bank
  • Reischauer (Germany)
  • Reserve Bank of India
  • Reserve Central Bank of Peru
  • Royal Blanking International (Belgium)
  • Royal Canadian Mint
  • Royal Dutch Kusters Engineering (Netherlands)
  • Royal Dutch Mint (Netherlands)
  • Scan Coin (Sweden)
  • Schuler Pressen (Germany)
  • Secura Monde (UK)
  • Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India
  • Sempsa Joyeria Plateria (Spain)
  • SICPA (Switzerland)
  • South African Reserve Bank
  • Spaleck (Germany)
  • Sunshine Minting (USA)
  • Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden)
  • The Royal Mint (UK)
  • The South African Mint Company
  • United States Mint
  • Vaultex UK
  • Water Mark Publishing House (Russia)
  • World Money Fair (Germany)

Image Gallery

The 2015 Programme

Wednesday 21 October

Pre-Conference Seminars

  • Specifications for Coin and Blank Tender - The Do's and Don'ts

  • Coins for Cash

Thursday 22 October

Session OneTrends, Issues and Challenges

  • Astrid Mitchell, Currency News (UK)

    The Circulating Coin Market - An Update

  • Genie Foster, International Association of Currency Affairs (US)

    Payment Trends

  • Rüdiger Voss, European Commission

    Possible Building Blocks for a More Modern Euro Coinage System

Session TwoCoin Strategies Around the World

  • Mårten Gomer, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden)

    Plans for Introducing Sweden's New Series

  • Alejandro Alegre, Banco de México

    Mexican Circulating Coins: Recent Events and Future Projects

  • Ferdinando Sasso, Banca d'Italia

    Challenges and Solutions in Coin Circulation: the Italian Case

  • Roberto Andrade, Banco de España

    The Spanish Coin Cash Cycle - Stakeholders, Evolution, Demand and Distribution

Session ThreeOptimising Coin Management and Distribution

  • Shaun Ferrari, Federal Reserve System (US)

    A Central Bank's Evolving Role in Coin Distribution

  • Ewout van Haeften, De Nederlandsche Bank (Netherlands)

    Forecasting and Stock Management

  • Brian Lang, Formerly Reserve Bank of New Zealand

    Public Perception in Determining the Optimal Currency Structure

  • Luis Oro, Prosegur (Spain)

    Coin Cycle Efficiencies of Usage, Handling and Logistics

Session FourSecurity and Authentication

  • Stuart Wilson, The Royal Mint (UK)

    Leading the Global Fight Against Counterfeiting with Cutting-Edge Security Solutions

  • Gerd Wagner, Reischauer (Germany)

    New Secure Coins in Stainless Steel

  • Eugenio Gomez, Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (Spain)

    New Security Measures for Minting Circulating and Commemorative Coins

  • Jarden Zinc (USA)

    Plated Zinc Materials - Enhanced Security with Proven Technologies

Friday 23 October

Session FiveCorporate, Environmental and Social Responsibility

  • Sirpa Kuusirati, Mint of Finland

    The Most Responsible Choice - Towards ISO 26000 CSR Standard

  • Scott Hutchings, Global Coin Solutions

    Mixed Currency Donation - Supporting Charities Around the Globe Through Repatriation

  • Sean Byrne, Royal Canadian Mint

    SM&RT Non-Cyanide Brass and Bronze for Coins

Panel OnePanel Discussion - Cash, Cash-less or Cashless

  • Jonathan Ward, Secura Monde International

    Moderator

  • Brendan Doyle, Cash Management Solutions

    Panellist

  • Jon Cameron, US Mint

    Panellist

  • Margaret Doyle, Deloittes

    Panellist

Session SixDriving Efficiency Through New Initiatives

  • John Cameron, United States Mint

    Stakeholder Involvement and the Search for Low Cost Materials for US Coinage

  • Alvon Moore, Central Bank of Barbados

    Making Sense Out of Cents

  • Bank of Tanzania

    Lessons Learned from the Introduction of 500 Shilling Coin Circulation in Tanzania

Session SevenEngaging the Public

  • Lydia Yip, Hong Kong Monetary Authority

    HKMA's Coin Collection Program - Challenges and Lessons Learned

  • José Luis Pereyra, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú

    The Pride and Wealth of Peru: the Experience of a Numismatic Series of a Coin in Circulation

  • Rafael Feria Pérez, Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (Spain)

    Royal Spanish Mint: 400 Years of Service and Technology

Thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors

Honorary

  • Royal Spanish Mint (FNMT-RCM)

Platinum

  • Mint of Finland
  • Royal Canadian Mint
  • Sempsa
  • The Royal Mint

Gold

  • CECO
  • Prosegur

Silver

  • Freiberger EuroMetall
  • Jarden Zinc Products
  • Monnaie De Paris