Viewpoint: How Covid-19 is affecting cash usage

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact on how people live their lives and, as a result of the many lock downs, habits are changing.  One area where change is being seen is in cash usage.  From January to April 2021 EAST ran an online research poll which asked the question In which, if any, of the following ways do you think the outbreak of Covid-19 will affect your use of cash in the next six months?:

  • I will use less cash
  • I will use contactless/mobile payments more (e.g. Apple Pay, Google Pay etc)
  • I will do more shopping online
  • I will use card payments more
  • I will use ATMs / cash machines less frequently
  • I don’t think coronavirus will affect my use of cash in the next six months
  • I will take more hygiene precautions when using cash (storing it for longer periods, washing it, using gloves to handle it etc)
  • Don’t know

The final results were as follows (nobody ticked that they will take more hygiene precautions when using cash, or that they don’t know).  Over the next 6 months:

  • 84% of all the respondents will use less cash,
  • 69% will use contactless / mobile payments more,
  • 67% will do more shopping online
  • 52% will use cards more
  • 35% will use ATMs / cash machines less frequently
  • and only 16% of the respondents don’t think that the covid-19 pandemic will affect their use of cash as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

These results are consistent with our previous poll, that looked at Covid-19, Cash and the future of payments



47th EAST Meeting hosted by SIBS in Lisbon

The 47th Meeting of EAST National Members was hosted by SIBS at the SANA Metropolitan Hotel in Lisbon on 6th February 2019. National country crime updates were provided by 21 countries, and a global update by HSBC.  Topics covered included payment fraud and the evolution of payment technology, ATM malware and logical attacks, terminal related fraud attacks and ATM related physical attacks.

Presentations were also given by the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF) and the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF).  An update was given by the EAST Expert Group on ATM and ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP).

EAST Fraud Update 1-2019 will be produced in early March, based on the national country crime updates provided at the meeting.  EAST Fraud Updates are available on the EAST Website to EAST Members.

200 Fraud Alerts Issued by EAST

EAST has published its 200th Fraud Alert.  These Alerts are issued by EAST National Members, often with the support of Law Enforcement and other EAST Associate Members.  To date 28 countries have issued Fraud Alerts covering ATMs, Unattended Payment Terminals (UPTs) and Point of Sale (POS) Terminals.

EAST first started issuing Fraud Alerts in September 2013.  These Alerts provide valuable and timely intelligence to law enforcement agencies and the industry, allowing the spread of emerging threats and criminal methodologies to be tracked across the world.  While most of the Alerts have been issued by countries within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), there have been some from Belarus, Mexico, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.

To date EAST Fraud Alerts issued have covered:  Black Box attacks (cash out / jackpotting); Card Shimming (S1 devices); Card Skimming (highlighting the spread of different devices such as M1, M2, M3, D2 and D3); Card Trapping; Cash Trapping; Deposit Fraud; Eavesdropping (highlighting the use of different MOs such as E2 and E3); EMV Shock Cards; Malware (cash out / jackpotting); Transaction Reversal Fraud; and Vandalism.  The table below shows a summary the Alerts issued:

Fraud Alerts

Definitions of the different fraud types and related terminology are available on this website.

The EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF) initiated the Fraud Alerts and conducts in-depth analysis of some of the emerging threats and devices.  Each Alert covers: the type of fraud; the country where discovered; the terminal type(s) affected; an indication as to whether or not the fraud was successful; a description of the device and the criminal MO; indication as to the device location; information on PIN compromise (if card skimming or card trapping); and any available images.

EAST also issues Payment Alerts and Physical Attack Alerts.

EAST Alerts contain sensitive information and are restricted to EAST Members (National and Associate).  They are classified as AMBER using the variant of the Traffic Light Protocol (TLP) adopted by EAST.