The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on consumers and businesses alike, and it’s paved the way for changes in how we conduct everyday financial transactions. This includes paying our bills, buying groceries, paying for public transportation, and doing general banking tasks. But if we ever want our economy to recover—even in a pandemic—we need to find better and safer means to complete our financial transactions. This will keep money circulating and ensure that our economy is alive to serve ordinary people and the businesses they patronize, even in these trying times.
What can you do to sufficiently protect yourself and control the spread of COVID-19, all while still taking care of your basic financial needs? Here are four simple precautions that you can take when shopping, paying for bills, withdrawing money, or exchanging money with other people.
Always Wear a Hand Protector
Whenever you have to touch public or communal surfaces, like when you’re withdrawing money from the ATM or handing money to a teller over the counter, remember that not everyone is as careful about hand hygiene as you may be. You can supplement your regular hand washing and hand sanitizing habits by wearing an antimicrobial hand protector for hygiene. The hand protector can work as an extra barrier against pathogens, and products that are treated with antimicrobial treatment will ensure that bacteria and viruses don’t thrive on the fabric. If you have no option but to touch paper money and coins, or to press your hand against a dirty ATM surface or countertop, wearing a hand protector can give you additional peace of mind about keeping your hands as clean as possible.
Embrace Online Banking
Adapting to the “new normal” in a sustainable and resilient manner will be key to achieving the best possible quality of life during this time of crisis. If we want to help flatten the global curve of new COVID-19 cases and prevent the spread of other pathogens, we need to turn to technological solutions.
Online banking is one such solution that many people can turn to for their day-to-day financial transactions. For one, it allows for easy monitoring of funds and faster money transfers. For another, it helps ordinary citizens reduce their environmental footprint by eliminating physical documents and decreasing the need to drive to brick-and-mortar bank branches. The good news is that most banks now offer online banking services, so make sure to explore the different features and perks that your home bank may be offering its online customers.
Use Cashless Payment Services Whenever Possible
The fear of contact with contaminated surfaces has led more people to adopt cashless payment options whenever they need to settle payments for goods and services. These days, many individual sellers and establishments refuse to take cash altogether. But there are other reasons to embrace digital wallets and credit cards. If you adopt these, you may be eligible to receive discounts, freebies, loyalty points, and more.
As this habit becomes more ingrained in consumers all over the world, we may be witness to the transformation of our global economy into a totally cashless one. If not, we’ll at least see a major drop in how often people use cash for their daily financial transactions.
Pay Your Bills Online
Your bank’s online services likely have an option to let you pay for your gas, water, and electricity bills online. This will save you the hassle of driving to a payment center and standing in line while waiting for your turn. Paying your bills online will also decrease your exposure to illnesses like COVID-19, as it follows the rationale of decongesting crowds and allowing individuals to keep a safe social distance from others.
For other financial transactions that require you to pay on a regular basis, such as loans, insurance premiums, apartment rent, and the like, you can also check if your billers have an online payment option. Since more businesses are taking a proactive stance to prevent COVID-19 exposure on their properties, it’s likely that they’ve also started offering online or cashless modes of accepting payment.
Towards Safe, Convenient, and Efficient Financial Transactions
It’s unlikely that we’ll stop using cash altogether anytime soon, and in some situations, exchanging cash may still be the best method for settling transactions. As long as we’re mindful about how we handle money and stick to best health practices such as handwashing, social distancing, and using protective gear, using cash is still a viable option.
The shift towards a more digitized economy will have permanent positive effects on our communities’ health and lifestyle. That’s why both ordinary citizens and businesses alike need to get with the times. There’s no reason to stop fulfilling our financial needs or to cease our support of local businesses. Let’s do our part in keeping each other safe and keeping each other’s livelihoods intact by doing our financial transactions in the mindset of the new normal.