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Will COVID-19 kill off cash?

A by-product of the coronavirus pandemic will be an increase in the contactless payments market, as the world is looking to make transactions as contactless as possible.

​Those of you that will have seen my article, 'I bet your Digital Worker hasn’t been furloughed', will know I am expecting to see a lot of my clients begin to invest, or further invest, in automation in the “next norm”.

Those that have seen the least impact on their processes whilst their teams have been working remotely, or furloughed, or worse still unable to work due to illness, have been the ones that had introduced automation to their tasks, and maintained a level of resilience amidst the chaos.

E-commerce and online e-tailing businesses will gain market share as consumer behaviours change. People will be more conscious of limiting human contact. We have already seen an uptake in online grocery shopping during the pandemic. When the lockdown is withdrawn and confidence eventually returns to spending, I expect some of the public will continue to avoid the High Street and prefer to shop online for convenience, and to avoid unnecessary human contact. Businesses will be investing in their digital channels and infrastructure, so they are able to fulfil consumer demand.

A by-product of this will be an increase in the contactless payments market. The world will be looking to make transactions as contactless as possible. We can already see a huge surge in this as new research reveals that more than 7 million contactless payments have been made since the limit was increased to £45 in the UK to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. Whilst the use of cash before the pandemic had been dropping year on year due to the emergence of contactless payment methods, reports at the end of March from Link, the operator of the UK’s biggest network of ATMs, said cash usage in Britain had halved in the month. The closure of shops, a shift to contactless payments, plus concerns that notes may harbour the virus contributed to the dramatic decline.

When the markets begin to see a resurgence, will our old behaviours return with it? Will you be keeping cash in your wallet or rely on contactless payments?

Posted 7 months ago

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