These days, we are all coming to terms with many new realities in the face of COVID-19. The way in which we shop and transact business is no exception. The World Health Organization tells us the disease spreads through small droplets from the nose or mouth expelled through coughs, sneezes or when speaking. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces and studies show that the virus can survive for some time on these objects. This puts everything we touch into question, including what form of payments we use to purchase our essential goods.
It seems every day there are new articles published citing experts warning of how germ infested our phones can be, along with tips on the best sanitizing techniques. Yet, the likelihood of any of us cleaning our phones regularly is pretty low. With the increase of mobile payments over the past few years, the exposure our phones have has increased. Not to mention we then bring them to our face to make a call.
Cash too is getting a bad reputation. The Federal Reserve states that each bill remains in circulation for 4-15 years. Think of all the hands, cash registers, wallets, vending machines, and pockets those bills pass through during that period of time. Now, parts of the world that are typically not credit card users are moving toward credit to avoid cash. For example, in recent weeks Germany’s noncash purchases have increased by 30 percent.
Payment cards on the other hand, once cleaned properly, could provide consumers with an easier transaction option that minimizes exposure as they move from wallet to the payment terminal and back – touched only by the cardholder.
Shifts in payment options, as well as increasing health concerns, are driving increasing awareness of contactless cards. This will likely drive payment associations and banks to swiftly reissue credit cards out in circulation to contactless cards where they can. In fact, in Australia financial institutions are issuing contactless cards and increasing online shopping ability.
When it comes down to it, pulling out a card for a quick tap and back into your wallet seems like the easiest option.
To learn more about Entrust Datacard’s high-volume card issuance solutions, visit our central card issuance page.