Mobile Payments Prove ‘Cleaner’ Than Cash

At MMW, we’ve heard plenty of solid arguments for why mobile payments should one day replace cash as the leading form of payments in the United States. But the latest is definitely a new one.

Cash, as it turns out, is so “unclean” that embracing mobile payments in place of cash could make you a healthier person.

According to a report this week from Mobile Payments Today, scientists at Oxford University have learned that European bank notes contain more 26,000 bacteria on average. “Even the newest notes were home to 2,400 bacteria,” the report reads.

“The bank notes we tested harbored an average of 26,000 bacteria, which, for a number of pathogenic organisms is sufficient for passing on infection,” says Oxford Professor of Engineering Science Ian Thompson. “Previous studies of bank notes have indicated contamination with potentially harmful bacteria such as Klebsiella and Enterobacter, species which can cause disease in humans.”

If that’s not scary enough, try this one on for size. With antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria on the rise, Thompson adds that “there is merit in a wider study tracking the spread of resistant strains through movement of bank notes globally.”

So… do you believe the reduction of cash usage will result in a healthier global population? Please weigh in with your two cents below.