The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the move by many businesses away from cash. As countries begin to emerge out of lockdown the risk associated with handling cash and spreading the disease has caused many to reconsider their business payment options. The Big Green Mountain Group provides card reader solutions which help eliminate the need for your business to handle cash and as such reduces the risk of coming into contact with the disease.

Even countries like Germany, who have predominantly used cash are now turning to cashless payments on what may prove to be a permanent shift away from cash. In a survey of 1,475 people aged between 16 and 69, payment industry organisation Initiative Deutsche Zahlungssysteme found that 41% of them used their debit cards more often between the end of March and mid-April 2020 than before the crisis; 57% if you include credit card payments.

The majority of the card users said they did so for hygiene reasons, and out of respect for shopkeepers’ safety and according to the German Banking Industry Committee, more than half of the card payments from the end of March have been contactless, compared to only 35% in December.

In New York some businesses are encouraging customers to pay with credit or debit card while others are introducing no cash policies to limit the exchange of germs during transactions. Although Health experts merely suggest that you wash your hands after handling money throughout the coronavirus outbreak, some businesses are trying to cut out cash entirely.

The trend has already been going toward cashless pay; last year around 80 percent of payments in the US were through credit cards or payment apps. “We shouldn’t be touching anything,” said Richard Crone, chief executive officer of mobile-payment research firm Crone Consulting. He expects contactless payments to grab an additional 10 per cent to 20 per cent of transactions at stores and ATMs as the result of the pandemic. Person-to-person services like PayPal, Venmo and Zelle should benefit as well, Mr Crone said.

In the UK The lockdown has led to a 60% fall in the number of withdrawals from cash machines, although people are taking out bigger sums. Payment card use has risen with online shopping, particularly for groceries. Experts say the long-term future of cash could be at risk, before the UK is ready to cope with the change.

There were reports early in the coronavirus outbreak about the spread of the virus on banknotes and coins. However, the Bank of England and World Health Organization have stressed that the risk is no greater than on any other items, and repeated the advice on regular hand washing.

Some 76% of people asked in the survey said they expected to use cash less and move instead to other forms of payment, or online shopping more in the next six months.

Traders who used to wince if you showed them your plastic are now happily bringing out their card readers from the back of the stall.

At The Big Green Mountain Group we provide various card reader solutions. Talk to us today to find out how we can help you with your cashless options. Even if you have a card reader already talk to us to see how we can help reduce your monthly costs.

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