Our latest Cash and Crises episode explains how physical currency is managed in times of a pandemic and why it is essential to the proper functioning of the national economy, concluding that:
• Banknotes pose no more risk of disease transmission than other everyday objects such as debit cards, ATM PIN-pads and handrails.
• A combination of modern banknote manufacture and improved bulk cash management practices maintain the highest possible quality of currency in circulation.
• The sooner the Cash Cycle is restored after a catastrophe, the sooner economic recovery can begin.
• Loss of confidence in cash driven by unfounded fears that banknotes act as vectors of disease can foster financial exclusion and slow economic recovery following a pandemic.
• Cash adds value to society by generating profit for the issuer.
• Policies driven by ideology rather than epidemiology will do further harm by forcing cash payments to be made via electronic means which either don’t exist or are not disaster resilient. Alternative payment options are rarely contact-free and the majority of digital transfers made in low-and-middle-income economies today involve cashing out somewhere in the cycle.
Find more information on the Cash and Crises series by clicking here and watch our previous episodes below:
Episode 1: Digital Money
Episode 3: Multiplier Effects
Episode 4: Pre-paid card payments and settlements
Episode 5: The Cash Cycle in Disasters
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