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Why cash is safe to use in times of corona

calendar iconMar 31, 2020

Medical experts and central banks from all parts of the world have testified to the fact that cash is safe to use in times of corona (see list of references at the bottom).

The corona virus spreads through droplets (coughing, sneezing etc., hence the social distancing). The chances of it being transmitted via inanimate objects is next to zero according to virologists. This is confirmed by e.g. the Deutsche Bundesbank, saying that the risk of picking up coronavirus via cash is minimal and "that banknotes and coins do not pose a particular risk of infection for the public.” Banknotes are certainly no more of a risk than any other surface. Every information to the contrary is fake news.

The risk of contracting the virus is very small "unless someone is using a bank note to sneeze in; [and] coins are actually very bad environments for viruses to survive.”
"Dr. Christine Tait-BurkardExpert in infection and immunityRoslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh

There are more reasons now than ever to continue paying cash. If you believe in the arguments below, be an ambassador for cash! Use it, and convince the person next to you to use it. Because fundamental rights and freedom matter:

Personal freedom and independence

  • Some payment providers are using corona as a platform to increase their market share; if they are successful, payment will be increasingly in the hands of commercial players.
  • Cash is a public infrastructure, a form of power sharing between governments, central banks and the public.
  • Cash is the only form of payment independent of its issuer. Personal freedom is tied to the use of cash.
  • Freedom of choice is only guaranteed when you have choices available.

Privacy and protection of data

  • More mobile, card and contactless payments increase the amount of data being shared and sold. They accelerate the risk of sliding into “surveillance capitalism”.
  • Cash protects the privacy and anonymity of its users. It is safe.

Not having to pay for paying

  • All mobile, contactless and card payments incur fees. In the end, consumers always pay.
  • Cash is free to use once it’s in circulation. It settles at par, no charges involved. You don’t have to pay to pay with cash.


  • Mobile, contactless and card payments pose entry hurdles. They are not available to every part of the population because of technological, network, financial, literacy etc. barriers.
  • Cash is the only form of payment available to all, regardless of social status, financial standing, creditworthiness, age, gender, race, nationality, and ability. No registration or specific access is needed in order to obtain, spend or accept it. It is the only truly inclusive means of payment – quite important to the 1.6 billion unbanked people in this world.
"...cash is the preferred form of payment for about 10% of Finns. For these people, cash may be the only possible payment method and it is important that they get their purchase done. Cash can be used as usual during a coronary pandemic. However, the most important thing is careful hand hygiene..."
"Päivi Heikkinen, Bank of Finland"Use of cash during a coronary pandemic"


  • At the moment, all over the world limits for contactless payments are being increased while, at the same time, security is being reduced.
  • Cash is safe to use and it is the most secure form of payment. No risk of cybercrime and fraud, no risk of hacks.

List of references

Last Updated: Jan 17, 2024

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