How COVID19 Shows the Need For a Cashless Society
Our world is rapidly changing. It’s April 2020 and we’re in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Although the population is experiencing a new normal through adhering to social distancing practices, the needs of consumers have remained the same. People need goods and services, period.
Delivery services are a valid option, but the reality is that many people need to leave the hose to purchase their necessities. Now more than ever the traditional wallet (e.g. cash and credit cards) seems outdated. Face to face interactions in a retail setting pose numerous infection risks, even if both parties in the transaction are wearing a mask and gloves.
Employees are handling cash that might have been handled by hundreds of people. The World Health Organization made a statement regarding COVID19 and transactions, saying:
“We know that money changes hands frequently and can pick up all sorts of bacteria and viruses and things like that. We would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes and avoid touching their face.” A WHO representative said people “should wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer after handling money, especially if they are about to eat or before handling food.”
Unfortunately, credit card transactions may be just as unsanitary.Viruses tend to last longer on hard surfaces like plastic compared to soft surfaces like the U.S. dollar, which is a combination of fabric and paper. China reported back in February that cash in hotbed areas would be disinfected or destroyed.
The current COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for real-time and new digital payment services. As the chances for infection are drastically increased through the exchange of currency, consumers are increasingly shifting to digital alternatives like digital wallets.Using a digital wallet is not only more sanitary than traditional means of payment, they are also more secure and allow for payments anywhere, anytime. These customer demands coupled with the prevalence of smartphones and internet connectivity means the global digital payment market is growing.
Another alternative to traditional payment methods is cryptocurrency. Physical transactions can be avoided through the use of cryptocurrencies, and they can be used as a digital format for the transfer of value and slowly erode the usage of physical cash. Though the current pandemic may be seen by some as a clear indicator that cryptocurrency will be a payment standard in the future, central banks may instead make a push for their own version of digitized payments.DIgital currency that is intertwined with central banks may be what eventually replaces traditional cash.
For more information regarding the digital payments realm contact Agilepayments.com