Going cashless reduces risks of COVID-19 contact

Paper money can carry the viruses and bacteria that they contract with for several days, including the deadly novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to the World Health Organization (WHO). To take precautionary measures on the spread of the dreaded disease, the public is advised to regularly sanitize their hands whenever they are handling money, or use contactless payments instead. 

Banknotes, according to the international body, may harbor the deadly virus for several days, thus have the potential to get a person infected. Studies have shown that human coronaviruses stay on the surface of paper money for as long as nine days at room temperature.

Thus, the United Nations body recommended the public to use contactless payment options to mitigate the health risks related to cash handling and the circulation of paper money. In the US, consumers are reportedly more inclined to use frictionless payments for their purchases.

In the Philippines, a more prevalent form of contactless payment is financial technology (fintech), which has been available to Filipinos for more than a decade now. Since it was introduced, fintech has allowed end-users to transact with physical and online stores through their mobile phones, providing a frictionless payments solution for transactions. 

GCash, the leading mobile wallet in the Philippines, believes that it can contribute to mitigating the spread of Covid-19 by encouraging Filipinos to use digital financial tools to reduce contact with potentially contaminated money. 

“Through frictionless payments such as that of mobile digital finance, we are removing potential health risks related to cash handling. We at GCash believe that this is the most opportune time for Filipinos to consider cashless payment options for their transactions,” GCash President Anthony Thomas said. 

GCash has become a popular means of transacting in the Philippines. Aside from its use as a digital payments facility for online transactions, GCash wallets may also be used to pay for physical transactions in 70,000 merchants nationwide. 

Consumers can buy their groceries from GCash partner Puregold or their on-the-go needs from convenience store chain 7/11, both of which use the Scan-to-Pay (STP) via Barcode payment system. To use the STP via Barcode, customers need only to generate a unique barcode via their GCash apps and have the cashier scan the code via the scanner guns. 

Aside from this, GCash users may also use their digital wallets to purchase medicines and vitamins from Mercury Drug, food and other supplies from Lazada, and their meals at different restaurants and food kiosks nationwide. 

“We are one with the government and private groups in pursuing measures to prevent the global pandemic from spreading further. We hope that through our platform, we are helping Filipinos reduce the risk of having contact with the virus,” Thomas said. 

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