5 ways coronavirus has forever changed cash
Before COVID-19, cash usage at the point of sale was already on the decline, prompting a brief clash between retailers and governments over the requirement for cash acceptance. When Amazon launched its cashierless Amazon Go stores that emphasized invisible, digital payments in 2018, other retailers and tech companies — including Albertsons, Standard Cognition and French grocer Casino — quickly followed suit. In China, the concept had already proven to be successful among retailers such as Bingo Box, with more than 300 stores in 30 cities.
In response to what appeared to be a war on cash, state and local legislators across the U.S. responded by passing laws forcing retailers to accept paper currency as a financial inclusion measure.
However, much of that seems to be in the distant past, now with COVID-19 being at the top of everyone’s mind. Unfortunately, that has cast a shadow over the use of cash, which is often perceived as dirty because it frequently changes hands and is almost never washed.