Cash changes hands so do any other contact-based cards such as credit or debit cards. Any material which changes multiple hands could be a potential cause of the spread of Coronavirus. The World Health Organization has confirmed this fear, it says transaction through currency notes, debit and credit card can cause the spread of Coronavirus. Experts suggest that one should use contactless payment methods such as UPI, IMPS, RTGS, Mobile wallets and Internet Banking to avoid the threat of Coronavirus spread.
India is still in its early stages of the spread of COVID-19. At this stage, it is quite possible to avoid the deadly spread of the virus by taking necessary precautions. Using contactless payment methods is one of such precautions. Mr. Mandar Agashe, managing director and founder of Sarvatra Technologies, a leading banking technology firm, suggests that this is the right time India should switch to contactless payment from contact-based transactions. In an interview with FE Online, Mr. Mandar said that Indians should switch to UPI, IMPS, RTGS, Mobile wallets and similar contactless payment methods to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Mr. Mandar further added further insight into the mechanism of the spread of COVID-19. He said that the deadly virus is supposed to be active on any surface for days after the primary infected person has come in contact with it. When the same surface comes into contact with a second person, he or she may contract the virus infection simply by touching the contaminated surface. Though, WHO hasn’t explicitly mentioned the threat, but has issued general advice that contactless payments should be done.
It is very important for banking agencies to fully sterilize the currency notes before issuing them to new customers. Further, schemes should be devised to encourage people for undertaking digital payments.