Could the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic finally spell the death of cash? If the industry isn’t careful in its messaging and approach at this critical moment, the long-predicted demise of physical currency could be imminent. Our current crisis has once again raised familiar arguments against banknotes and coins. The media, commercial payments firms, health ministers, and even many central banks are advising against cash use in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. Contactless payments are increasingly taking the spotlight, with cash being pilloried as dirty and unhygienic. And now pundits are predicting that the pandemic will be the catalyst that will bring digital payments into the global mainstream. In this brief report, we take a look at how cash is currently being discussed in the media, as well as the central bank response to concerns about the cleanliness of physical currency.
Our messaging is clear. Cash is a humanitarian right; billions of unbanked and underbanked people continue to rely on cash and have few viable alternatives to make payments. As the research shows, we know that cash transactions pose the same risk level as other daily activities, including card payments, especially when partnered with the hygiene protocols put forward by WHO.
Through CR's initiatives supporting education and knowledge-sharing within the cash and payment industries, we help improve the lives of people by supporting their rights for faster, cost-effective, secure choices in payments. CR is publishing this essential report free of charge to extend the reach of this vital work to a wider audience because the implications of moving to a cashless society are complex, far-reaching, and have an impact on society as a whole.
If your organization would benefit from CR's knowledge in cash and payments, contact Jens Seidl, VP of Marketing and Business Development, to discuss how our consulting team can assist you.
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