Time to Go Cashless?

We know that social distancing is a policy being followed in many countries right now, as an attempt to reduce the number of cases of COVID-19. The medical journal The Lancet described the policy as the only real strategy to fight the disease in the absence of pharmaceutical knowledge. But what does this mean for the handling of cash? Does cash increase the spread of coronavirus? Is this the time to go cashless?

Photo by Kat Yukawa on Unsplash
Coronavirus lives on surfaces

Various studies have been done to try and work out how long the coronavirus can stay alive on different types of surfaces. The general consensus is that the virus can live on hard material surfaces like metal and plastic for up to three days, and can stay alive in air droplets for several hours. Social distancing therefore reduces the likelihood that infected people can come into contact - either directly or indirectly - with other people who are susceptible to infection.

The importance of hand washing

However, the World Health Organisation has been clear to say that just touching a contaminated surface isn't in itself a risk, but that it increases the risk of a person touching their face or mouth, and thereby allowing the virus to enter their respiratory system. The WHO along with the medical bodies of many countries maintain that hand washing is one of the primary methods of defence.

But what about cash?

While you can't get infected just by touching a contaminated surface, you are then increasing the risk that you get infected. For this reason, lots of supermarkets have put in various measures to protect their staff from potentially coming into contact with contaminated surfaces. One such measure of protection is to promote the use of contactless payment methods. Shops such as Morrisons have gone so far as to increase the contactless spending limit, so that more people can pay without having to hand over physical cash.

How Collctiv can help

If you're doing shopping for a neighbour and need to collect the money from them on your return, chances are you're helping them because they're elderly, vulnerable or in a high-risk category. This is the category of people who have been asked to stay completely inside their homes; classed as "shielding" by the UK Government. Or they may be self-isolating having shown symptoms of COVID-19. Either way, Collctiv can help you to stay safe and reduce the chance of transmission of the virus. Simply create a pot and share the payment link by text, WhatsApp, Messenger or any other chat method. Your neighbour can then tap to pay in less than 10 seconds without downloading the app.

Hopefully, going cashless and accepting payments from friends and family from a distance will help everyone to stay safe by practicing social distancing more effectively.

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