My wallet is always bulging. Would that it was because it was stuffed with Benjamin Franklin hundred-dollar bills and Ulysses S. Grant fifties. Alas, that is not my reality.

It’s stretched out of shape crammed with coins — quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies. More than one pal has observed me fishing coins out of my overstuffed change pocket and noted my resemblance to the Southern Baptist Church ladies of my Memphis upbringing; the ones who always searched around in their big pocketbooks for nickels to hand out to well-behaved little children. Ok, so I’m not exactly the 21st-century woman checking out with a quick tap of Apple Pay.

Go ahead and laugh. But, at this moment I’m in the catbird seat because of my old-fashioned coin habit (more about that later).

Coins are scarce right now — really scarce — another byproduct of the COVID 19 pandemic. During the shutdown, cash usage dwindled. Few people shopped in person with bills or coins. Millions of coins stopped circulating, leaving many businesses unable to complete cash transactions. Retailers like Walmart continue to ask customers to use exact change or pay with credit cards. Kroger grocery stores give back change onto customers’ loyalty cards. And coin-operated laundromats have had to close or complete expensive conversions to tokens. The situation is so dire the Federal Reserve has set up a U.S. Coin Task Force to explore solutions, is working with the U.S. Mint, is considering eliminating the penny and is rationing coins to certain banks.

The Fed says the coin shortage should ease in a couple of months, but the current adjustments may end up as permanent changes.

Pre-pandemic, I used cash for most of my routine transactions. But I’ve slowly embraced other methods of payment. My online ordering was already linked to credit or debit cards, but I rarely used my PayPal account. Now, like me, a lot of Americans use online and mobile payment systems like PayPal and Venmo instead of cash. The digital payments offer an extra measure of protection — no more hand-to-hand exchange of bills or coins and no touching of card readers.

On my trip to Martha’s Vineyard last month, I was surprised to see that my favorite ice cream shops — traditionally cash-only — were accepting mobile or card payments. These changes may be difficult for the large group of Americans who only use cash. What’s more, many don’t have bank accounts and are not linked to digital payment systems. In Massachusetts, they are still somewhat protected because it’s one of the few remaining states with a law requiring businesses to offer a cash payment option.

Meanwhile, we inadvertent coin hoarders have a chance to get paid, as the kids say. That’s because some banks and other businesses are willing to pay more than the face value of the coins. Wisconsin’s Community State Bank is offering a $5 bonus on $100 worth of coins up to $500. And you don’t have to have an account. Texas’ Amarillo National Bank is offering a buyback of an extra 10 percent, as is Maine’s Gorham Bank. In a shortchanged world, those of us flush with the jingling tender are big winners.

Here’s hoping my local bank and credit union might be interested in ponying up. And, don’t offer me a penny for my thoughts. The price has gone way up.