Friday, June 19, 2020
The article “Coronavirus hammers nail in cash’s coffin” (June 16) accepts some clever PR from vested interests, including Mastercard, that suggests consumers don’t like cash.
Mastercard, like Visa, American Express and other cashless payment systems have not moved during COVID-19 to offer free services but have fanned fears to the advantage of their shareholders. Mastercard’s share price is up 49 per cent and Visa’s is up 42 per cent since bottoming out on March 23.
Mastercard literally spread fake news last week with a media release regarding the “dirtiness of cash”. Yetthe World Health Organisation and the Royal Australian Mint say cash is not unsafe.
The move away from cash is not being driven by consumers. Some 95 per cent of Australians and New Zealanders want to keep their right to pay with cash, according to Next Payments’ market research.
Cash in the economy sits in the Reserve Bank pool for more than 24 hours to ensure it is virus free. Cash companies like Prosegur may also sanitise it before it sits again in an ATM canister.
Meanwhile, an Eftpos terminal maybe tapped, touched, pressed and handled by hundreds of cards and people per day. The Royal Australian Mint says plastic cards, POS terminals and PIN pads can carry viruses and pass them on.
The cash system, which safeguards our privacy and is the most reliable and surcharge-free way to pay, is being undermined by card and payments companies for their own benefit. Cash is safe, free and private.
Tim Wildash, CEO