ATM association extols virtues of cash

ATM Industry Association praises ongoing availability of cash

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TAKE NOTE: We're being assured it's OK to use cash so long as we observe appropriate hand hygiene practices.

TAKE NOTE: We're being assured it's OK to use cash so long as we observe appropriate hand hygiene practices.

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The ATM Industry Association addresses popular misconceptions about cash and COVID-19.

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THE ATM Industry Association has moved to allay concerns that cash may spread COVID-19.

Concerns about cash have circulated since a widely shared media article in March claimed the World Health Organisation (WHO) had advised bank notes may be spreading the virus.

The WHO went on to say it had been misrepresented and was only suggesting people practice hand hygiene after handling cash and other surfaces.

The ATM Industry Association said ongoing availability of cash services through ATMs preserved the rights of Australians to choose their preferred payment method.

Its Asia Pacific director Sandra Smith said cash was safe to use and ensured a system which was equitable to all people.

"Our industry is providing frontline services in this crisis to ensure the freedom to choose is kept alive," she said.

The organisation's chief executive Mike Lee, who is also ATM Security Association president and Consortium for Next Gen ATMs chair, said the last thing needed in the current climate was misinformation.

"Like millions around the world, I have continued to use cash and cards during the lockdown to buy food and medicine for my family," he said.

The WHO, Reserve Bank of Australia, Royal Australian Mint and state health departments have not recommended against using cash.

The ATM Industry Association says 1.7 billion people around the world no not have access to a bank account, while 30 per cent of identity theft cases involve credit card fraud.

About 40 per cent of humanitarian donations are made in the form of cash or vouchers.

For more information about the ATMIA, click here.

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