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Opinion

Cashless after Covid-19?

The number of cashless transactions is rising as the coronavirus pandemic limits the use of physical cash.

Kanika Saigal payments_780


Read all Euromoney coronavirus coverage

When the World Health Organization released a statement on March 9 recommending that people turn to cashless transactions to fight the spread of Covid-19, a number of governments and retailers across the world took action.

In China, thousands of banknotes were destroyed or disinfected to eliminate the spread of the virus. South Korea followed suit, and in the US, the Federal Reserve has started storing banknotes that have come in from Asia before recirculating them back into the economy.

Canadians, however, have taken a different approach. Rumours persist that some people have been shoving banknotes into washing machines to rid them of the virus – taking advantage of the fact that their ‘paper’ money is made of plastic. This takes money laundering to a whole new level.

Some retailers have banned the use of cash in their stores to keep employees and customers safe, opting for contactless payments instead. Meanwhile, for those confined to their homes, online shopping is a lifeline.


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