Dirty Money Another Push to Cashless Society?


The Covid-19 outbreak has many people afraid of handling cash - and it may just push our society into becoming cashless. John Heasley of Texas Bankers Association says not so fast. "A push for an American cashless society has been going on for 30 years. There are people in this country and our state who would like to have a little more privacy than they are seeing. I think there are people who would like to protect what little privacy that they have left." Heasley says online retail establishments sell your information to advertisers and there's always identity theft that doesn't happen with cash.

After the Covid-19 outbreak, Heasley says many consumers are forgoing the use of cash for presumed health reasons. "In the social distancing environment, some people are more happily involved if they give and accept electronic transactions rather than cash transactions." All of that may sound likely given how cash gets around. Bills get traded constantly, and depending on the denomination, they can stay in circulation for five to 15 years - and a lot of people aren’t washing their hands,

Cash is King

According to Columbia Medical school, U.S. currency is a pretty plush place for germs to land. It’s 75% cotton and 25% linen, which offers a soft environment into which microbes can settle. Yet cash doesn’t typically have the right temperature or moisture conditions to allow microbes to grow and thrive. Its porous surface actually helps it hold on to most of the germs it’s carrying, so not many microbes wipe off on your hands. This means money is not very good at transmitting diseases.

photo: Getty

Americans still love using cash.

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