WeSwap: Start Looking at Mobile Payments During Coronavirus Outbreak

March 25, 2020         By: Steven Anderson

While admittedly, Americans’ ability to shop has never been so thoroughly restrained, the same can’t be said all over. In fact, a recent report sent our way from WeSwap, a company that deals in travel-related payments, notes that turning to cards in such an environment will help users come out the other side healthier and happier for it.

Backed up by the World Health Organization (WHO), WeSwap’s managing director Matt Crane noted that card use is already on the rise, and will likely continue to be high for some time to come. Or at least as far as the coronavirus shows up.

Since viruses similar to coronavirus have been shown to live on paper surfaces for up to 72 hours, reports note, using cash might be a little extra risk during this time. Switching over to a mobile payments interface more often requires a connection to plastic or even glass.

Banks and other issuers have stepped up to help on this front. Allied Irish Banks, for example, has halted plans to add transaction fees to contactless payment systems as a means to encourage their use. With card-based payments predominant across Europe and North America—the US is merely fourth at 71 percent of transactions going through cards—a little extra push here may be all that’s needed.

Crane further noted: “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow everyday. In an attempt to reduce its spread, we are seeing companies promote contactless transactions in lieu of cash payments, which studies suggest are more likely to carry the virus. For those who need to travel during the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to protect yourself.”

Of course, there are other benefits to mobile payments tools—convenience is high on the list, and safety is increasingly gaining ground—but it’s a safe bet very few ever considered the health benefits of mobile payments usage. Especially contactless mobile payments; when there’s no contact, the chances of illness are reduced. Not eliminated, of course—social distancing rules still apply—but with a little extra consideration, you can make your payments without coming into contact with people.

That’s a concept whose time has quite clearly come, so wherever you go—or even if you do your online shopping from your smartphone—keep mobile payments systems in mind for your convenience, your safety, and maybe even your health.