Since the rise of the global pandemic, there have many changes in our society, how it functions. But let us put social distancing and hygiene to the side for now and look at something we have been totally ignoring. Money.
Australia has included, among other measures to fight the Coronavirus, the preference for payment by card rather than by notes and coins.
There is a sudden fear that the handling of money between people may possibly spread the virus. However our groceries are touched more than our money is. It has to be scanned and placed in a bag. Our food has to be cooked and packaged. These enter our supply systems.
Why should the case of money be any different? Aren’t we meant to wash our hands after touching foreign surfaces regardless?
Furthermore, isn’t this making Australian dollar notes, which are legal tender and have been since 1966, unofficially illegal?
There is a push for the world to move to towards digital currency. The authorities have been devising a gradual shift to cashless banking.
Is the Coronavirus simply an excuse to speed up the process towards cashless economy?
The companies that are selling products online, helping themselves to our credit cards, are thriving while the small businesses and shops are struggling to get by, relying on the new Jobkeeper payment.
Should we be concerned?
Our money is moved around, between the hands of so many people and all we see amidst all this is a a few digits on our computer screens. Our bank details are broadcast to places all over the world due to online transfers and if we lose a few digits, we lose it.
After all, this money isn’t tangible. It can’t be seen or held; it is valueless. Fiat currency is the term for it.
Imagine a situation in which a person has a card in their bag and brushes past the counter with it on the way into the shop. Money is deducted from their account though they didn’t buy anything.
They won’t notice and even if they did, they couldn’t retrieve it. The Bank won’t take an ‘accident’ as an excuse.
The dollar, it seems is out of our hands.