News

VICTORIA BISCHOFF: We can't afford to lose cash, as grubby card machines pose a similar risk to coins and notes

If you're spending more than the £45 contactless limit, you either have to use a grubby card machine, or hand over cash. Yet despite both options posing a similar health risk for those who do not wash their hands regularly, it is only cash that is being demonised as a possible means of catching coronavirus.

By Victoria Bischoff for The Daily Mail

There is no doubt that the most hygienic way to pay for something is with a tap of a contactless card.

But if you're spending more than the £45 contactless limit, you either have to use a grubby card machine, or hand over cash.

Yet despite both options posing a similar health risk for those who do not wash their hands regularly, it is only cash that is being demonised as a possible means of catching coronavirus.

As we reveal, this scaremongering is troubling, with more and more shops up and down the country ditching coins and notes altogether.

Britain is nowhere near ready to go cashless. We have been told time and again that if we do not act now to protect cash, we will leave millions of elderly, vulnerable people and rural dwellers behind. And while technology can be brilliant, it is also temperamental.

When the Visa payment system crashed in June 2018, thousands were left stranded at supermarket checkouts unable to use their cards.

That day should have served as a wake-up call for the powers that be over the chaos we'd face if there was a more serious system failure, and we didn't have cash as an alternative payment method.

With bank branches closing at a record pace, many small business owners have already had to ditch cash because it is too costly and time-consuming to travel miles each day to deposit takings.

If more businesses follow suit due to the pandemic, banks will have yet another excuse to shut even more branches and cash machines — which would be devastating for the many who rely on them for everyday banking.

In his March Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged to introduce new laws to protect cash, and it is vital he acts on this promise.

If he waits until the coronavirus threat has passed, we could find that cash has already been thrown on the scrapheap — hastened to its demise by pressure from firms who stand to benefit financially if we all switch to cards.

Ministers have said throughout the current crisis that we should be guided by the science.

Well, the experts say that if we all wash our hands regularly, touching cash is no riskier than touching any other hard surface, such as a shopping basket. So let's take heed and refuse to allow corona-phobia to kill off our cash.

Flying the flag

Money Mail has repeatedly highlighted how travel firms are refusing to refund holidaymakers for cancelled trips.

But one airline and package holiday provider is emerging as something of a hero amid the chaos.

One reader, Mike, described Jet2 as 'a beacon of light'. He said that after requesting a refund for a cancelled trip, there was no pressure to take a voucher.

The money was back in his bank account within six days — two weeks before his planned departure date.

Another reader, Nigel, said he received his money back for a cancelled city break within just 48 hours. And Anne, who also received a swift refund for her cancelled flight to Cyprus, said: 'Jet2 has been brilliant and deserves huge recognition for going above and beyond.'

Perhaps other travel firms should take note that all of these readers said the excellent service they had received at such a difficult time meant they would most certainly be using Jet2 for future holidays.

Delivery horror

Over the past few weeks we have exposed how vulnerable families are going weeks without vital supplies, with many forced to stay up into the small hours to get a supermarket delivery slot.

The response to our investigation was one of the biggest we've seen in recent memory, so thank you.

We have now sent a dossier of hundreds of your emails (with personal details removed) to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, to be considered as part of its inquiry into food supply during the pandemic. We will update you as soon as it publishes its findings.

In the meantime, good luck with the vital business of getting some food in your fridge.

See the original article on VICTORIA BISCHOFF: We can't afford to lose cash, as grubby card machines pose a similar risk to coins and notes

back
Prefer to speak to someone? Please give us a call - 0800 068 9368