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



Viewpoint: Is NFC technology the best payment alternative to cards?

NFCIn an EAST website research poll that ran from September to December 2015 just 10% of respondents felt that Near Field Communications (NFC) based technology is the best payment alternative to cards, despite the fact that NFC mobile payment technology is becoming more prevalent in many markets and many retailers already have NFC-based contactless payment terminals in place. 53% of respondents felt that Hybrid technology (a combination of NFC technology and application based solutions) is the way forward.

In addition to NFC technology the ATM channel is considering new application-based solutions to handle cash withdrawals (and other) transactions that do not require specific hardware devices to read customer data (i.e. matching a one time password to a user ID, or using a QR code).  Cardless transactions at ATMs are convenient, fast and safe. Deploying application-based solutions for completely cardless transactions (and with no hardware requirements) could see the double benefits of an improved transaction experience for customers, as well as a more efficient, secure and cost effective means of achieving this.

The poll results can be seen in the chart below.

EAST Poll Sep to Dec 15

The current website research poll, which closes at the end of April, is on Intelligent Banknote Neutralisation Systems (IBNS) and asks the question – ‘If a stained note is offered to you, or comes into your possession, do you understand what you should do?’ To take it, and to see all past results, visit the ATM Research Page on this website, or click on the button below.