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COVID-19 pushes for cashless wallets

My hand and wallet Source: EyeEm

The acceleration towards a cashless society may be a win for many retailers and banks, but segments of the population are still struggling to adapt to the world of cashless payments.

In order to maintain hygiene and social distancing guidelines, coronavirus pandemic has further solidified a move pushing away from cash for some businesses

Cashless payment systems require people to have equal access to technology. Australians face different digital barriers when it comes to participating in the digital economy.

Dr John Selby, an academic at Macquarie University in the Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance, says while cash may no longer be king during the time of coronavirus, we should not be in a rush to embrace a completely digital currency.

Perceptions about the security of digital payments can also be influenced by those who come from countries where the level of trust in the government and in banks remains low.

Dr Selby explains:

"If you have ever experienced a bank run it's a fascinating thing to observe. I have managed to see one purely by random accident. A number of years ago in New York City I was walking in Manhattan in the Chinatown there and there was a bank run emerging. I saw a large crowd of people queued outside a bank and saw later in the press that it was in fact a bank failure that had occurred. And those who have lived through that experience, who have lost their income and their savings would of course be cautious and reluctant to lose it again."

To hear the full report click on the audio link above.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Find out what restrictions are in place for your state or territory.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at http://www.sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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