With the coronavirus pandemic going on, there seems to have been an uptick in businesses refusing to accept cash because they fear there is a risk of transmission. However, scientific evidence points to cash being no riskier than handling plastic cards or cell phones, according to a statement released by the Consumer Choice in Payment Coalition (a group that has AMOA and the National ATM Council among its members).
“In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and concerns over the spread of COVID-19, there has been a myriad of misinformation about the possibility of spreading the virus by simply handling currency,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, some of this hyperbole about cash safety is little more than a transparent effort by those having vested interests in promoting a migration away from cash to electronic payment methods, which in turn would exclude millions in our population from retail markets.”
The CCPC recommended common-sense precautions by consumers and merchants when handling coins and currency, as well as cards and phones. They also cited the World Health Organization, which says, “There is currently no evidence to confirm or disprove that COVID-19 virus can be transmitted through coins or banknotes. However, respiratory droplets expelled from an infected person can contaminate and persist on surfaces. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly after touching any frequently-touched surface or object, including coins or banknotes. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose, if your hands are not cleaned.”
In short, wash your hands and don’t touch your face, and you should be just fine. Learn more at www.cash-choice.org.