We’ve all heard the expression “dirty money,” but there’s real truth to the term, and more importantly, there’s scientific evidence to back it up. Paper money carries countless microbes, picking up germs from everything it encounters – from ATM machines to each person’s fingers it comes into contact with. In the age of a global pandemic, there’s ever more reason to worry about the dangerous filth accompanying your greenbacks.
Can COVID-19 be spread on money? Current studies show COVID-19 can survive on paper money from a few hours to a couple of days, depending upon the humidity and location of where it’s stored. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging people to use “contactless [payment] technology” wherever possible. The safest thing to do is always wash your hands thoroughly after you’ve handled cash, in order to prevent the quick transmission of the disease and to protect both you and your family from it.
Cash is dirty: Though the fear of COVID-19 is the most pressing concern today, the majority of paper money is known to carry much dirt. For example, more than ninety percent of dollar bills contain traces of drugs on them, while it’s also not uncommon to find bits of fecal matter (yuck!) either. Despite diligent hand washing, remembering to not touch your face is also paramount in staying safe and healthy.
Going paperless is safer and more organized: As anyone with school-age children can attest to, their kids have on several occasions lost the cash they were given for school trips or other activities. Companies such as Backpack Bucks have made it easier for kids to go cashless, thereby adding another layer of security to children. The online process enables parents to sign up and pay for trips online from any location, while quickly receiving payment confirmation by either email or text. Children are protected from germs and parents may save money.
Digital payments add much-needed security: While credit cards come with their own built-in protection, it’s still important to take steps to ensure you’re using them under the best conditions. Be sure to protect your home computer from both viruses and hackers, as well as your Wi-Fi connection. Only use your credit card on websites you trust, and especially look for the “HTTPS” on the URL bar (the “s” standing for “secure”) when you check out. Digital wallets can also amp-up your protection. They are financial accounts, such as a bank’s mobile app or a platform like PayPal, that enable users to store funds and make secure payment transactions.
Going cashless also means to go green and clean: The good news is that going cash-free can certainly protect your physical health. It’s also good for the environment, and enables you to take part in the green and clean movement where payments are more secure, and banks are better able to authenticate and formalize transactions.