What future for a humble British coin? 小面值英鎊硬幣 未來是去是留?

Penny pinching

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文字稿

英國財政部正在征求各界人士對現金未來的看法,此舉可能是為取消1便士(100便士相當于1英鎊,1便士約為人民幣8分)及2便士的小面值硬幣鋪平道路。該部門邀請了相關人士就目前流通的各類小面值硬幣給予意見,因為隨著消費者轉向非現金支付,如非接觸式付款和數字消費,現金的使用越來越少。

The Treasury says that six out of ten copper coins are used only once before being stashed away or even chucked in the bin. The Royal Mint has been issuing hundreds of millions of the coins every year, only for them to disappear into jars or the back of drawers, which the government believes isn’t cost-effective.

There’s been a sharp drop in cash transactions under five pounds since the introduction of contactless card payments. As yet, the Treasury says it has no plans to get rid of the coins but many see this as the beginning of the end.

英國財政部稱,每十枚銅幣(即便士)中就會有六枚硬幣僅在一次使用後就被人存置一旁,甚至被扔進垃圾箱。英國皇家鑄幣局(The Royal Mint)每年都在發行數以千萬枚的硬幣,而這些硬幣最後卻只能被藏到存錢罐里或是抽屜的深處,英國政府認為這是不划算的。

自英國引進非接觸式銀行卡支付以來,小於五鎊的現金交易數量急劇下降。到目前為止,財政部說還沒有制定廢除小額硬幣的相關計劃,但很多人把政府徵求意見一事看作小額硬幣最終退出流通市場的開始。

1.
詞彙表

stashed 被存放,被藏匿起來
chucked 被扔掉
cost-effective 划算的,成本效益高的
transactions (金錢上的)交易,這裡是複數,指多筆交易
contactless card payments 非接觸式銀行卡付款,略稱“contactless”
the beginning of the end 事物走向結束的開端

2.
閱讀理解:請在讀完上文後,回答下列問題 。

1. What type of metal are the British 1p and 2p coins made of?

2. True or false? The Royal Mint issued more than a million pounds worth of these small coins last year.

3. According to the report, why are fewer small coins being used?

4. Which phrase used in the report, implies that these small coins may eventually be phased out?

3.
答案

1. What type of metal are the British 1p and 2p coins made of?
They are made of copper. They are sometimes informally referred to as ‘coppers’.

2. True or false? The Royal Mint issued more than a million pounds worth of these small coins last year.
False. The Royal Mint has been issuing hundreds of millions of the coins every year – this is the number of coins but not the value in sterling.

3. According to the report, why are fewer small coins being used?
More people are using contactless cards to make small payments with.

4. Which phrase used in the report, implies that these small coins may eventually be phased out?
‘The beginning of the end’.

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