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ALL In-Person Payments CAN Be Equally Safe During The Coronavirus Pandemic

One of the aspects of the current Coronavirus Pandemic that makes my blood boil is the tendency of the advocates of particular payment methods to claim they are somehow safer for the public to use for in-person payments.

Sometimes such claims are supported by "research" findings or even the words of a handy "academic", presumably offering wisdom free of any inducement ....

As for myself, no one has yet made me a financial offer attractive enough to get me to agree to put my ethics through the shredder.

So from me, you will get my honest opinion, unafraid to cause alarm if necessary, but not setting out with the intention of doing so.

Here we go.

Firstly, I have read many of the seemingly endless number of reports on all things Coronavirus, including massive amounts of media coverage.

Secondly, having taken in all the information about Coronavirus that any person could reasonably be expected to do, I have reached a very firm conclusion.

THE ONLY TRULY SAFE WAY TO SHOP IS FROM HOME.

So anybody who can use any form of online or telephone shopping or can arrange for a neighbour, friend or relative to shop for their essentials, dropping them off on the doorstep,has very definitely found the safest way to shop.   

So that may cover 25% of us.

Which leaves about 6 Billion humans - you and me - to do our shopping in the still conventional way ie by visiting a shop.

Lets be VERY clear, if you have to visit a shop, notwithstanding your no doubt Herculean efforts to Socially Separate, the real risk you run is through the face-to-face contacts you will have travelling, queuing and moving around shop aisles. Scientists agree that infected droplets expelled by others are your biggest concern.

When it comes to paying in-person in a shop, some commentators, who may have a vested interest, have been heavily engaged in pushing the merits of contactless and mobile payments, as opposed to cash.

So there you are, in the queue at the supermarket check-out, having walked around the shop, touching and feeling all sorts of merchandise, before dropping your selections in your trolley.

EVERY ONE OF THE ITEMS YOU HAVE SELECTED CAN BE CARRYING CORONAVIRUS. DEPENDING ON THE NATURE OF THE PACKAGING, THE VIRUS CAN PERSIST FOR DAYS.

Your trolley handles and metal elements can also carry the virus.

So your hands could have Coronavirus on them, which would then be transferred to the mobile phone, cards or cash you decide to use to pay.

In other words, mobile phones, cards and cash are all possible temporary homes for the virus.

As is the terminal, at which you can "tap & go", bearing in mind that "contactless" is really just a marketing slogan, rather than an accurate description of the physical transaction. There almost inevitably IS contact.

I believe all of us who are reasonably open-minded will accept that no in-person payment method is intrinsically safe - or even safer than any other - at this time.

On the other hand ( or both hands, actually) ANY payment method at point-of-sale CAN be made relatively safe IF you wash or sanitise your hands AFTER the payment is made and BEFORE touching your face or mouth with your hands.

I have been paying for my shopping using cash throughout the current pandemic. I carry sanitiser so I can clean my hands afterwards, then wash my hands at home.

NO HEALTH PROBLEMS SO FAR, TOUCH NOTHING!

It is also worth reiterating that many scientists have been saying that any payment method is in all probability comparatively risk-free, as compared to the risks of being in contact with infected droplets deposited by another person into the air around you.

However, washing or sanitising is a sensible precaution, so I am continuing with my routine after paying.

I am NOT here going to stray into how to safely deal with your shopping when you get it home.

My advice giving is over for today!

I WISH EVERYONE HEALTH AND HAPPINESS!

 

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Ron Delnevo

Ron Delnevo

Chairman

Cash & Card World

Member since

18 Jan 2018

Location

Leatherhead

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

The Payments Business

Share opinion and experience on how the payments landscape is changing and learn about the challenges and opportunities facing payments stakeholders in the future.


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