It's official. People's Trust Federal Credit Union has trademarked the term "CoinSmart" to describe its coinless system of banking at the Houston Center and Galleria branches.

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The Houston-based credit union began coinless banking at its Houston Center branch in 2008. At CoinSmart branches, members who cash checks are not given change and instead are offered the option of depositing the change into one of their existing accounts or making a donation to the People's Trust Foundation, a charitable organization created by the credit union to promote financial literacy and consumers' economic independence. In addition, CoinSmart branches offer coin machines that convert spare coins into bills. If any change is leftover after the conversion, members are offered the same options. "Members at our CoinSmart branches have been very happy with coinless banking," said Pat Garcia, executive vice president.

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