Is the Corona Virus #COVID19 HERE to Stay & Future of Cash?

NO ONE is sure and there has not been much scientific discourse around that aspect as the world is still fighting to contain its spread and avert a Pandemic ensuing from it.

President Donald Trump

The president of the United states of America, Donald Trump is of the view that it will soon go away with the dawning of spring and the warming of the weather. To support his assertion some scientists have also alluded to the same by stating / speculating that the new coronavirus is similar to influenza and some other viruses. Therefore, it could dissipate once temperatures rise and humidity increases. President has been consistent in his approach since his tweet on the same on 7 February 2020 and repeated the same during his trip to India 25 February 2020.

That predisposition could soon be a catastrophic gamble considering that the #Coronavirus #COVID19 is alive and kicking in Australia where the temperatures are more like what Trump and company are hoping for. April 2020 is not very far off and we will surely tell if the President of the United States of America took a gamble or not.

United States of America to Fund Research into #COVID Vaccine

Contrary to the President’s public utterances, the White House Officials announced 24 February 2020 that they are preparing to ask for US$2.5 Billion from Congress to fight the Corona Virus. Of that US1.0 Billion was going to be set aside to develop a #COVID19 Vaccine. This shows the pragmatic approach that the officials are taking as opposed to the untested and cavalier approach by the Head of State and Government.

What is the future of Cash Transactions World Wide post #COVID19?

The country at the epicentre of the fight against #COVID19 is the most populous country in the World, The Peoples Republic of China. It is also the country with probably the highest amount of cash notes circulating in any company in the world. To curb the transmission of Corona Virus #COVID19, the Central Bank and its Banks in China have been disinfecting / laundering all cash to ensure there is no transmission of the virus through contact.

What does this move spell for regions like sub-Saharan Africa whose markets are predominantly cash sales driven through physical notes? Does it mean we are about to see a boom in careless and cashless transactions in these economies as people prepare for this current viral attack and possibly new ones. This is the region that is also periodically visited by virus attacks like ebola and others that are influenza related.

This is a new chapter in financial intermediation and we are yet to see if the African Tech Startup scene will rise to the occasion together with the region’s Central Banks. Most importantly will the political will be there to deal with such a paradigm shift? The biggest gain will be unintended formalisation of economies and possibly better fiscal collections and government spend.

Tjiyapo Velempini – @velempini,