Dear NAC Family & Friends:
These are certainly trying times for each of us, our families and communities, and our entire nation and world – as we collectively face the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Nonetheless, NAC wants you to know that, during this time of great uncertainty and tribulation, we are here for you – and we are continuing to work hard in protecting your interests in every way possible.
Unfortunately, a World Health Organization (WHO) representative recently was misquoted expressing concerns that cash presented a significant threat for transmitting the Coronavirus. This false message was coupled with a suggestion that “cashless/touchless” methods would be the safer way to go in making payments.
NAC quickly responded to this misinformation, contacting WHO and requesting a formal correction of the mistaken premises behind this “cash scare”. NAC has also been in contact with the Federal Reserve and industry media outlets to help ensure more accurate reporting/communication on the relative risks of U.S. currency versus other payment methods. (Studies show that virus pathogens such as the Coronavirus transmit better on hard surfaces such as plastic charge cards, versus non-smooth cotton/linen surfaces such as those found on U.S. bills.)
Fortunately, WHO has just issued a corrected message indicating they did NOT say cash was a significant COVID-19 transmission threat. Along with WHO’s clarification, media coverage has generally become more accurate and tempered in its reporting on the subject.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also helped put the relative threat from this means of virus transmission into perspective, stating that “[i]t may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”
NAC has asked WHO and the Federal Reserve to provide us with any specific advice they can offer on safe cash handling procedures that ATM deployers in the U.S. can employ – and we will share with you any information we receive.
In the interim, please review the information accessed via the links below. NAC is here as an industrywide “clearinghouse and broadcast station” for information of relevance to ATM Nation during this pandemic– and we are asking for YOUR help to stay informed of any developments or solutions you may become aware of in the field. It is vital that we communicate as an industry to help one another stay safe – and that we also do our part to help keep the millions of Americans that use our ATMs daily as safe as possible during this crisis.
Our Independent/Retail ATM industry sector has a unique opportunity and responsibility in these historic circumstances. Implementing heightened cleaning measures in your operations, such as thoroughly disinfecting your ATM terminals’ keypads/screens/other touchpoints each and every time you are on site (and encouraging your merchants to do the same daily) makes good common sense. Please ensure your people employ comprehensive and thorough hygienic procedures as part of their everyday routines right now along these lines.
NAC is proud in knowing that ATM Nation will stay strong and smart as we continue offering vital cash access during the Coronavirus epidemic and far beyond. As you provide America with its daily cash, please know that NAC is here to help support you in any way we can, and TOGETHER our NAC family of innovative and resilient entrepreneurs will weather this storm and be stronger for it!
Please stay safe and stay in touch!
Bruce Renard, Executive Director