ATM association cautions against ditching cash on virus fears

As shoppers continue to embrace contactless payments on the back of COVID-19 fears, one association is pushing for us to stick with cash.

The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA), an international not-for-profit trade association is urging consumers not to panic when it comes to paying with cash, arguing for many it’s the only option available.

As the global pandemic took hold across the world and Australia implemented government imposed restrictions, consumers were quick to drop in cash payments in favour of cpntactless options. According to the Commonwealth Bank, the digital wallet uptake was swift and there were two million more contacless payments in March vs December last year.

However, the ATM Industry Association is arguing for consumers to continue to use cash, arguing it remains a safe method, when good hygiene practices – such as regular hand washing, are followed.

“Cash is still safe to use in Australia and around the world ensuring we have a resilient payment system which is fair to all demographic groups in Australia,” ATMIA’s Asia Pacific Executive Director Sandra Smith said, “Our industry is providing frontline services in this crisis to ensure the freedom to choose is kept alive.”

It’s a position shared by ATM Security Association and Chairperson of the Consortium for Next Gen ATMS and ATMIA CEO Mike Lee.

The last thing we need during this crisis is misinformation, fear-mongering and panic. Like millions around the world, I have continued to use cash and cards during the lockdown to buy food and medicine for my family,” Mr Lee said.  

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