Cash And Coins Losing More Lustre During COVID-19 Crisis


Canada has long been inching towards becoming a cashless society. This isn’t to say that cash will one day be eliminated altogether (although it’s not unreasonable to assume that may happen at some point), but it’s clear that credit card and debit card use continues to grow in popularity.

These days, we are living in unprecedented times. The coronavirus pandemic is changing the ways in which we live and work. This morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continued to stress the extreme importance of social distancing and even hinted at eventually implementing nationwide enforcement in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. As a business owner, you’ve undoubtedly been affected by the pandemic.

Have you had to close your doors?

If so, you’ve likely taken to promoting your online store in an effort to keep sales going. Even if your doors are open, it’s possible you’ve had to minimize your operating hours in order to keep both your employees and customers as safe as possible. No matter what you’re doing to service your customers, at this time, one thing is for sure. Your acceptance of credit cards has never been more important.

Firstly, credit card acceptance is practically mandatory in order to process sales online. Secondly, people are very well aware that coronavirus can exist on surfaces. This is why we’re so regularly reminded to wash our hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. As well, it’s important to disinfect our regularly-touched items and equipment.

The passing along of cash is now as undesirable as it has ever been.

Markus Mannheim of Australia’s ABC News, writes that the coronavirus pandemic has spread to many aspects of life, but one of its early and unexpected impacts seems to be on cash transactions. He reveals that Australian businesses are trying to protect their staffs by preventing them from handling notes and coins. Cash, of course, is still legal tender, and merchants can still accept it. However, cash transactions are at historic lows.

“Though it does not reference cash specifically, Department of Health advice says the COVID-19 virus can spread through ‘touching objects that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person’ on them,” writes Mannheim, “So when managers of The Knox cafe, in suburban Canberra, met to discuss how to protect staff and improve hygiene, refusing coins and banknotes was one of their first decisions.”

Does handling paper money increase the risk of spreading COVID-19?

Ideally, your employees should be wearing gloves when receiving cash from your customers. It’s wise, of course, to encourage as little hand to hand transfers of cash and coins as possible. This isn’t because studies have shown coronavirus can be transmitted through the passing along of money. However, as Molly McCluskey informs us on, a 2014 study examining currencies from around the world found both coin and paper currency were highly contaminated with various forms of bacteria.

Agersew Alemu of the University of Gondar in Ethiopia authored the study. “An individual living in unhygienic conditions having unhygienic habits will contaminate the notes with bacteria and these notes will act as a vehicle delivering bacteria to contaminate the hands of the next user,” he is quoted as saying by McCluskey.

At Canadian POS, we know there’s no better way to accept credit card and debit card payments than with the revolutionary Poynt Smart Terminal. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-748-2884 or email us at info@localhost to learn more! Be sure to ask us about our e-commerce solution as well!

Scroll to Top