On March 3, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised the use of contactless technology for payments instead of cash as paper money could be spreading the COVID-19 virus: people should wash their hands after handling cash because COVID-19 could be carried on the surface of banknotes for several days. Meanwhile, banknotes are being irradiated with ultraviolet light and high temperatures in China. This in agreement with research that shows how filthy cash really is:
- Filthy lucre: A metagenomic pilot study of microbes found on circulating currency in New York City: viable microbes can be isolated from the $1 bills circulating in New York City (Propionibacterium acnes, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Micrococcus luteus)
- Dirty money: an investigation into the hygiene status of some of the world’s currencies as obtained from food outlets: the lower the economic freedom of a country, the higher the typical bacterial content on the banknotes in circulation.
- Dirty Money: A Matter of Bacterial Survival, Adherence, and Toxicity: paper money made with coarser and fibrous surfaces provide strong bacterial adherence and an environment to survive on, in contrast with smooth, polymer surfaces (i.e., cotton vs. polymer).
- Dirty Money: paper money is 3 times dirtier than coins.
- Dirty Money on Holy Ground: Isolation of Potentially Pathogenic Bacteria and Fungi on Money Collected from Church Offerings: paper money is dirty even where little or no exchange takes place.
On our part, we bet on replacing cash with contactless technology: we use the latest technologies, including Near-Field-Contact payments (NFC), with global coverage.