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The Use of Cash During Social Distancing

The Use of Cash During Social Distancing

As coronavirus continues to reshape how Americans live their lives in the form of social distancing, we have to be aware of how often we come in contact with each other. One of the main culprits is of course exchanging cash. While hand sanitizers offer some protection, best practices means reducing contact as much as possible, including handling cash. Digital wallets offer a cash-free alternative when making purchases; reducing physical contact.

Social Distancing Is The New Norm

As coronavirus continues its trek throughout the country, a new concept for many of us--Social Distancing--has come to the forefront. Social distancing is the practice of limiting the amount of people you have at gatherings (and if you must go to public places then a distance of six feet from others is recommended). The belief is that by reducing the number of people that congregate in a space, you slow down the transmission rate of person-to-person infections.

As each city currently has its own policy towards addressing the COVID-19, causing a patchwork of regulation across South Dakota, the best thing you can do is ensure you’re protecting yourself from the transmission of COVID-19, and limit the amount of contact you have with other people.

Limits To Social Distancing

The reality is we still have to go out into the world and while Governor Noem’s executive order recommends businesses enact best practices for good hygiene, there’s nothing written in stone. Unfortunately you can only really be sure that you’re following best practices, and not what anyone else is doing. 

Despite this uncertainty, there are still things you can do to reduce your exposure. One thing you can do is reduce the amount of physical contact, especially in regard to handling cash. China (which had more than 85,000 cases of COVID-19) began disinfecting their cash with the idea to reduce the spread of the virus by reducing opportunities for infections.

In contrast to this practice, the WHO (World Health Organization) instead recommends washing your hands, using hand sanitizer after handling cash (or anything really); which is currently the basic protective measures to reduce coronavirus exposure. As a practical matter, however, there can be considerable time between making a purchase and getting home to wash your hands, so anything to reduce the chance of exposure should be considered. 

Can Going Cashless Reduce Exposure To COVID-19?

Digital wallets such as Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay offer a method to not only pay for goods and services with minimal physical contact, they also allow you to transfer funds to banks and to people without needing to get cash or visit the bank or an ATM. Digital wallets make financial transactions simple, regardless of which payment platform you choose. Here’s how they work:

Bring up your wallet app before you’re ready to pay. Then touch your phone to the checkout terminal and that’s it, you’ve paid for your purchase. All without needing to exchange cash or break social distancing rules. 

Note: if you’re new to digital payment, keep in mind if you’re in a location which has limited options to digital wallet-ready terminals. Samsung Pay uses MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission). MST allows your phone to be used to make a payment on an older terminal (one which requires a physical strip/swipe) which does not support NFC.

If you’re concerned about privacy or security, digital wallets don't provide any of your financial information when you pay, making it more secure than credit or debit card transactions. Most importantly, unlike physical credit cards and of course cash, there’s no person-to-person contact when payment occurs, allowing you to maintain social distancing.

Embrace The New Normal

One thing that will be true is that even when this crisis is over, how we operate personally and professionally will have changed. Those businesses who are able to ride the wave, adapt and evolve will have an easier time on the other side of this. As with most disasters, this one allows us to see where our shortcomings and blind spots are and gives us the opportunities to make corrections and be better prepared for the future. Some businesses will curse the dark, others will light a candle and keep working. Which one are you?

If your business is closed and your workers are unable to work remotely because there is no plan in place for them to, now is the time to address the issue. Modern business practices such as Microsoft Office 365 and G-Suite allow your team to continue to work and collaborate on projects while they are at home. Additionally, webinars and video conferences can help mitigate the loneliness and stress coronavirus isolation can bring to your team, and allow you to continue to interact with your clients on a more intimate level. 

It’s Time To Think Ahead

If your business isn’t closed today, chances are it soon will be. If you're unsure of your readiness for cloud computing, disaster recovery or just setting up your team to work remotely, schedule a FREE consultation today. Now is the time to prepare your business not just for the ongoing coronavirus crisis, but for any instability the future may bring. Reach out to the professionals at KT Connections by calling 605-341-3873 today.

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Thursday, May 28 2020

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