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HPE, NonStop and Payments – the impact of the coronavirus Novel Covid-19

Craig Lawrence

DanDan

CL Mar 2020

What is the cleanest and safest way to spend money these days? Apart from not spending at all I mean. Well new technology could yet come to our rescue. The new savior is surprise, surprise, contactless payment technology, a payment method that doesn’t require us to actually touch anything or handle anything but simply wave and pay.  This could still be our savior.

Those that can do are being encouraged to “work from home” and what is that going to do to our behavior but lead to even more e-commerce, even more purchases from Amazon, and more use of our cards. Will this have an impact on the use of cash? Will this be another nail in its coffin?

Yet on the same day that this news item surfaced we also were treated to the repetitive story about the dying ATM. Cash use is on the decline; no surprise there because we are all using credit cards, debit cards prepaid card, and mobile wallets to pay for goods & services. As the growth of e-commerce and m-commerce increases we are seeing that the use of cash is diminishing which of course is driving less demand for cash.  UK ATMs have declined by some 17% from their peak, matching the closures of bank branches.  Having said that, cash in circulation in a number of countries, notably the USA, continues to increase with some two-thirds of it held outside the country.

The US Dollar remains the world’s global currency.  The circulation of cash is also important to ensure “social inclusiveness”, by which we mean there will always be a sector of any society that uses cash as a way of budgeting their expenditure.  The Australians are in the process of writing into law that access to cash and its acceptance in-store will continue despite the push of merchants to encourage card-only.

I’m experienced enough to remember when everything was done with cash and only rarely was a credit card used for purchasing. Occasionally we used checks/cheques for purchasing but what a dinosaur that seems today, with my apologies to US citizens where I understand the practice is still a valid payment option.

CL Mar 2020 - 2

Isn’t it interesting that one of the aspects of the coronavirus is that we are being encouraged to contact each other less time to reduce the amount of time we spend in each other’s proximity, to wash our hands clean anything and everything. One of the dirtiest things we have in our wallet is our money. Goodness knows how many people have actually touched and handled all that cash and here we are handing, passing & exchanging all this money between ourselves with all the viruses and bacteria that it houses.

Personally I would rather use a contactless credit card. Or Mobile Payment which I use increasingly in-store.  The phone touches no-one, it never leaves my hand, and even the loyalty cards are stored in a mobile wallet. Contactless technology can be used on a phone and we never ever have to either hand the phone to anyone nor does the phone have to touch anything! Wireless NFC technology is wonderful in this aspect we can even use our mobile phone in our hazmat suit should we choose to wear one to the supermarket.