In a summary by Payment Journal of where contactless payment is today (called 'Dirty Money Redefined ') it made me think.
There have been many studies done on the rise of digital currency and the demise of cash.
But with the pandemic, focus has been on the uncleanliness of cash.
In March 2020 the WHO advised the public to wash their hands after handling money, especially if handling or eating food.
China was literally ‘laundering their cash’ at the start of the pandemic last year by disinfecting with ultra violet light and high temperatures.
In a report from 2017 (April 2017 Filthy lucre: A metagenomic pilot study of microbes found on circulating currency in New York City)
They found traces of foods from in different areas to Pet DNA and 80% of cash even had traces of cocaine ! Money builds up a record of the human usage of it… leaving ‘molecular echoes’.
Things are better on the new polymer notes, though coin is especially rife with ‘dirt’ as there is a ‘persistent presence of low levels of bacteria on coins in circulation’ (MDPI report Nov 2016).
This continued talk of the uncleanliness of money has definitely made businesses aware of the need to utilise contactless as a means of payment wherever possible - but one should also consider the take up of new tech to control, (especially unattended contactless readers), a range of new payment opportunities, capturing the occasional and random purchaser.
With the ubiquitousness of Apple Watch/iPhone /Google Pay and Apple Pay - why go out with a wallet/purse? The ability to pay by ‘tap and pay’ means easy access for the consumers - less staffing requirements and social interaction by staff with their clients.
Ultimately the transactions are quicker and if we get to a £100 ceiling per transaction, shop and bar queues will be reduced even further.
With contactless cleanliness is assured and there are so many ways to digitally pay. The challenge is to fully embrace the hygienically secure digital usage while including the venerable members of society, who don’t have access to banks and/or the tech that goes with it.
Make that move to digital hygiene and ‘tap and pay’ now.