Covid Has Created A Fear Of Cash

A new survey says that 54% of Americans are concerned about touching coins or bills due to COVID, while 60% plan to use so-called touchless payments in the future.

Based on an online survey of 600 people conducted by Rapyd, 45% of Americans want to see pennies phased out, while 5% want all coins to be eliminated.

Rapyd CEO Arik Shtilman said COVID has accelerated an existing trend of Americans ditching cash for other forms of payment.

It will take years before the U.S. resembles Asia, where phone-based digital wallets are ubiquitous, partly due to the large number of Americans who like to pay with cash.

The move away from cash could also be accelerated by governments around the world using COVID as a pretext to reduce the amount of coins and bills in circulation, as the pandemic has already produced a coin shortage due to decreased activity at laundromats, transit facilities and other places where Americans spend coins.

A fully cashless society is still far off, at least in part by design, as several U.S. cities have introduced law requiring merchants to accept cash, because millions of Americans lack access to payment cards and other tools of the banking system.

Photos by Getty Images

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