UnionPay International, a wholly owned subsidiary of China UnionPay, said the cashless payment method is the only wise and safe when it comes to paying at the supermarket to mitigate the possibility of exposure to the COVID-19.
The Chinese financial services corporation said so far its UnionPay cards are widely accepted at major supermarket chains in Cambodia including; AEON MaxValu, Lucky Supermarket, Bayon Supermarket, and Thai Huot Market.
It said local customers can now opt for several cashless payments available to support their daily payment needs, while assisting in reducing the need for physical transactions such as handling bank notes, and face-to-face contact.
“It is no surprise that bank notes are unhygienic, given the nature of their usage and that money is one of the most frequently exchanged items in the world. Therefore, they collect significant number of bacteria and even viruses,” it added.
A team of researchers from New York University have conducted the first comprehensive DNA study on $1 bills from the US and found 3,000 different types of bacteria that cause acne, staphylococcus infections that cause meningitis, pneumonia, gastric ulcers, food poisoning and antibiotic resistance.
“These bacteria could be ingested when we directly rub our eyes or eat food using our hands, after handling money without washing or sanitising them thoroughly,” it said.
It’s little wonder that government and associations in surrounding nations are advocating cashless payments. In Thailand, the Thai Bankers’ Association urged the general public to use e-payment channels to minimizse the risk of any infection. Singapore’s central bank also urged the use of digital payment to support safe-distancing measures.
The National Bank of Cambodia has also recently encouraging the use of electronic methods for settlements rather than using cash to ward off COVID-19.