On Friday, South Korea’s central bank said it was taking all banknotes out of circulation for two weeks — and burning some — to reduce the spread of the virus, according to Reuters. It follows China’s massive initiative around deep cleaning potentially infected cash with ultraviolet light and high temperatures, and in some cases, destroying it. The treated cash comes from high-risk infection areas, such as hospitals.
Meanwhile, the Louvre museum in Paris this week banned cash amid the outbreak. Its decision to accept only credit card payments was part of an effort to make staffers feel more comfortable about returning to work, according to the Associated Press.
The concerns over cash come as the global number of people infected by the coronavirus nears 100,000, mostly in China. The outbreak may just drive up adoption of mobile payments, a newer technology that has long trailed behind cash in the US,
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