The global spread of Covid-19 has caused mass disruption to the supply chain but has also highlighted how inadequate our payment systems are and the glaring need for the processing of more online transactions.

Innovations digitally have transformed the world of banking over the last decade, but could the pandemic quicken the shift to a cashless society?

There has been some commentary in the media that Covid-19 will do to payments and broad swaths of industry what 9/11 did to travel and aviation security.

You only have to look at history to see that global crises bring with them a range of changes to how we operate in business and generally in our day-to-day lives, as more people work remotely, and the supply chain operates differently.

Covid-19 is certainly shaping up to be a seismic event in our history and for the supply chain generally in a number of ways and will certainly forever impact the way we do business and the way we work.

This crisis is proving to be a catalyst for the faster adoption of online payment solutions that are safer, more secure, fast and transparent.

As social distancing has become the global policy to halt the spread of Covid-19, it is clear how unsuitable using cash, checks, vouchers and traditional POS terminals are and shows the value of digital payments.

During these last few weeks, we have seen merchants refusing physical payment methods as they do not want to handle banknotes, checks, vouchers etc. that pose a risk to their employees and customers.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in this release, Covid-19 was detectable for up to two to three days on plastic, up to four in copper, and up to 24 hours on cardboard.

Cards and cash pose a huge risk, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that paper cash could carry the highly-infectious bacteria for several days, as much as other common surfaces, reminding everyone to use contactless payments if possible, to halt the spread of the disease.

This raises the question – why do we need to continue handling and using paper and card machines which pose a risk, when the online payment technology is there?

Cash, checks, vouchers and other physical payment methods such as the use of cards are no longer needed, and the global pandemic leads to the value of a future cash/paper-less society and supply chain.

The new technologies are in place to replace these physical payment methods, like online payment platforms, contactless payments, QR codes and P2B which are offered via aps like Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Facebook Pay and others.

Once the globe is over Covid-19, will the use of physical payments in all lines of business soon be a thing of the past? It seems that it has to be, as it only adds a layer of risk that doesn’t need to be there. Online payments solutions are the future, in not only the cargo and shipping industry but in society as a whole.

Covid-19 will also speed up further digitisation of even more processes across the industry, which is already on a digital transformation journey and the reality of a paperless supply chain is surely being expedited by this current crisis.

As the supply chain moves and plans for business post-Covid19, there does though need to be a broader recognition and expansion of platforms that there is confidence in and even standardised systems, which securely safeguard data and meet needs for frictionless and safe payments.

PayCargo’s online payment platform for the cargo and shipping industry provides such a solution in these challenging times and helps keep the cargo flowing securely and seamlessly through the supply chain.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, we have seen an uptick in interest for our service and stand ready and willing to do what we can to help the cargo community in this crisis.

At the end of the day, online payments are safer for the supply chain and staying home, being safe and healthy is the priority in this unprecedented time.