Exchange (Lot of) Coins to Paper Money

This is Mike’s question, my first answer, and his follow-up question:

Hi Wang Jian Shuo,

Do you know where in Shanghai I could change coin money to paper money?

I have a lot of coin monies, like 1 yuan coin, about thousands. I went to ICBC bank but they don’t accept it, they don’t have machine to count coin money either? Do you know where I can find machine to count coin money too?

In the US, at Commerce bank, they have machine to count coins (quarter) and change to paper money for free. I think there should be place like that in Shanghai too.

Thank you and best regards,


Posted by: Mike on August 4, 2007 07:54 PM

They don’t change the coins to paper for you? Really? They should provide that service. There are banks charging people for counting coins, but free for individuals. I have no experience about it, but I believe there must be some bank that can help you. Maybe I will talk about it later when I personal encounter the problem or check the bank, and be back with you to see if I can help you.

Posted by: Jian Shuo Wang on August 4, 2007 11:40 PM

Hi Wang Jian Shuo,

Thank you for your quick reply.

The bank can change the coins to paper money for me, but they only accept a small amount.

I have many coins, could be about 5,000 coins, I can’t sit to count that much coin, and people at the bank can’t help me either, I have to find a place with the coin counter machine? Do you know where I can find one? Any bank branch with a coin counter machine?

I only keep paper money in the wallet, it should be lighter and easier to carry that way. So everyday going home, I took the coin out of the wallet and put them in a box, now that box become a bit big, I want to change them to paper to save space. I guess everybody has a box of coins at home too.

Thank you and best regards,


Posted by: Mike on August 5, 2007 02:34 PM

To answer Mike’s question, I called China Merchant Bank (my favorite bank and the only bank I relatively like) at 4008895555. The CSR (Customer Service Representative) didn’t know it either, and asked me to call one of its branch office. So I called their Xujiahui branch at 021-64273892. Here is what I learn from gentleman on the other side of the telephone line.

It is Possible

The bank can exchange the coins for you, no matter how big amount it is.

It is a Paid Service

However, you have to pay 1 RMB per 50 coins. They said the fee is based on the number of coins, not the total amount of the money. For example, if you have 50 one RMB coins, the fee is 2% of the total amount, while if you 50 0.1 RMB coins, they will also charge you 1 RMB, which is 20% of the total amount.

Time and Location

This is a standard service offered by almost all banks, since it is a service standard (and fee standard) set by the China People’s Bank (the central bank). You can go to any bank to ask for this service.

There is something to notice though.

1. It is not Personal Banking Service. You have to go to the Cashier window in the business service section.

2. Because it needs some time, you need to wait for about one day for them to get back to you.

In Xujiahui Branch of China Merchant Bank (on the Tian Yao Qiao Road and the Zhaojiabang Road), the service is available from Monday to Friday before 16:30.

So, Mike, good luck and be sure to get back to us to let us know whether you successfully exchange the 5000 coins.

8 thoughts on “Exchange (Lot of) Coins to Paper Money

  1. Can you just bank in the coins into a local saving account? And then, withdraw it out from the ATM or counter.

  2. @DC, I don’t think that is an option, since the person at the counter will simply refuse it for several reasons. 1) The central bank has the authorization to refuse this service. 2) Every bank can choose what kind of service they provide. 3) It is not feasible or practical to do it when there are 100+ people waiting behind you for the counter to count all the coins. BTW, some background information, it is common to wait for one hour to get service from bank, so they don’t need to do every business.

  3. Hi Wang Jian Shuo,

    Thank you for your help!

    I went to a Bank of China branch already, I gave them my coins and some paper monies too, to deposit into my bank account.

    They said they will count the coins and then deposit them into my account, no fee, but just not right away, they will call me in two days to say how many coins are there.

    It shouldn’t be this way, because many factories in China produce coin counting machines, not expensive, to export them. But most of the bank here don’t use these machines and don’t but them in their branch. We use a lot of coins here in Shanghai, everybody has coins, I am sure there must be some banks around here who has these machines.

    Best regards,


  4. This is really valuable information!! Hehe – I’ve got a couple of bags of coins (about 10kg at least), but I’ve resigned myself to giving it to charity because it’s a mix of many different currencies – some is worth a little, other coins almost nothing… I’m guessing at least 15 different country currencies… I think any bank would look at me and laugh if I tried to exchange!!

  5. @AussiePB, if you have coins of many foreign countries, maybe you can make a collection and sell it on eBay. :-O You may get more money than the coins itself.

  6. Hoho – you are much more than just a ‘pretty face’!! What an absolutely excellent idea! I will definitely try this on eBay… ^__^

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  8. Dear sir, 6.9.07

    I am recevied a mail 10.8.2007, TRANS GLOBE FINANCE SECURITY,APPROVED US $ 500000 AVARD CERTIFECTE .THIS is forward to ICBC Bank china but not at Received Any infor mation for Your bank .

    please give me reply iam waitining you

    thank you

    yours sincerly

    AShok kumar

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