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People Are Keen To Ditch Paper Money Altogether Post Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the world to mostly abandon cash payments in favour of digital currency – and it seems most of us want to keep it that way.

A survey conducted by Travis Credit Union found more than half of Americans want to jettison paper money and prefer to use EFTPOS and other digital payment systems, with one in three participants saying it was due to health concerns.

“We found that respondents are now twice as likely to use a debit or credit card instead of cash to purchase goods. In fact, one in five said they rarely or never carry paper bills. That discovery made us wonder: Is a cashless future upon us?” TCU said in the survey results.

Less than one in five respondents said they always carry cash and on average, those cash-carrying Americans only have $46 in their wallets.


More than half of respondents (55%) said they choose to use a debit or credit card rather than pay cash for their last purchase.

Half of the people Travic Credit Union spoke with are using less cash than they were prior to the coronavirus, and a staggering 60 percent admit they are unlikely to go back to regularly using cash when the pandemic is over.

In Australia, many retailers refused to accept cash payments during the height of the pandemic – including McDonalds, Woolworths and Myer.

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, cash may still be legal tender but retailers do have the right to refuse paper payments.

“The retailer is free to set the terms of payment, and refusing to accept cash is not against the law,” RBA says.

“In fact, the Currency Act sets out restrictions around when you can use cash. A retailer can knock you back if you try to pay more than $5 using only 5c, 10c or 20c coins. Even if you’ve saved a collection of $1 and $2 coins, the most you can pay in a single purchase is $10 or $20 respectively.”

In Australia, those aged over 65 are still big users of cash and rely on notes and coins for around half their payments.

However senior were urged to use contactless payment during the pandemic as their age group is far more vulnerable to the virus.

A statement by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) highlighted that “the (COVID-19) virus survives best on non-porous materials, such as plastic” and BIS adds that “debit or credit card terminals or PIN pads could transmit the virus.”

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