Payments processing firm Paysafe and banking-as-a-service provider Bankable have announced that they are partnering with the British Red Cross to offer Visa prepaid cards in case of emergencies.
An official statement on Paysafe’s website on August 19th explained that the Visa cards will be used to distribute cash assistance that the Red Cross provides to individuals affected by emergency situations. Cash assistance is the means by which British Red Cross delivers financial aid during emergencies.
“The charity is now able to give families and individuals in need access to prepaid Visa cards via on-the-ground support workers, instead of relying on cash,” the announcement explained. The cards can be used by recipients at any point of sale or ATM that accepts Visa.
COVID-19 Has Given Cash a Bad Name
The announcement also mentions the fact that since the global outbreak of COVID-19, there is evidence that consumers are shifting away from cash as a means of payment. This is because of cash’s possibility of spreading disease, as well as an increased reliance on online shopping and payment platforms.
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The announcement specifically cited a Paysafe study in April 2020 that found that “53% of Brits are worried about handling cash following the COVID-19 outbreak, with 51% saying they planned to reduce their long term use of cash due to health and safety concerns.”
Mastercard also published findings in July 2020 that reveal 51 percent of Americans are using some form of contactless payment, including tap-to-go credit cards and mobile wallets like Apple Pay.
Earlier this year, Tom Gavin, chief executive of cannabis industry fintech firm CannaTrac, told Finance Magnates that “the WHO recommended avoiding cash as much as possible in an effort to decrease the spread of the disease,” and that “correspondingly, contactless payments have seen a huge increase in popularity.”
“Now that many consumers have seen the convenience that comes along with contactless payment methods, I think this popularity will persist, and demand for fintech companies to innovate cashless payment options will continue.”