If you’re looking for a self-improvement task in this pandemic era, try teaching yourself to use contactless payments with your phone or “tap-to-pay” credit and debit cards.

Any germaphobe will tell you that the surfaces of bills and coins have always been gross. And handing your credit card to a cashier who has the sniffles and a hacking cough? Even in pre-pandemic times, also gross.


Now, COVID-19 has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to advise using touchless payments whenever possible in the brick-and-mortar world.

Americans have been relatively slow to adopt touch-free

If you’re looking for a self-improvement task in this pandemic era, try teaching yourself to use contactless payments with your phone or “tap-to-pay” credit and debit cards.



FILE - This Oct. 8, 2019 file photo shows the Apple Pay app on an iPhone in New York. Using contactless payments for in-person retail transactions offers convenience and security benefits, but amid the coronavirus pandemic, hygiene might be the best reason yet. “Contactless” usually means tap-to-pay credit and debit cards, smartphone digital wallets or retailer apps. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)


© Provided by Associated Press
FILE – This Oct. 8, 2019 file photo shows the Apple Pay app on an iPhone in New York. Using contactless payments for in-person retail transactions offers convenience and security benefits, but amid the coronavirus pandemic, hygiene might be the best reason yet. “Contactless” usually means tap-to-pay credit and debit cards, smartphone digital wallets or retailer apps. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

Any germaphobe will tell you that the surfaces of bills and coins have always been gross. And handing your credit card to a cashier who has the sniffles and a hacking cough? Even in pre-pandemic times, also gross.

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Now, COVID-19 has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to advise using touchless payments whenever possible in the brick-and-mortar world.

Americans have been relatively slow to adopt touch-free payments even though they’re more convenient and secure than swiping credit and debit cards. But maybe hygiene will be the tipping point as people seek a solution for, well, yucky money.

“I think the pandemic is a strong impetus to change,” said Jodie Kelley, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association. “I think it’s going to stick and accelerate further. As people get used to it and understand how to do it and find that it’s simple and convenient, then they’re not going to shift back.”

Consumer interest in contactless payments has spiked during the pandemic.

Since January, no-touch payments have increased at 69% of retailers surveyed by the research firm Forrester on behalf of the National Retail Federation. And two-thirds of retailers surveyed now accept some form of no-touch payment.

Learning to use contactless payments might be