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Dirty Money: Does the Risk of Infectious Disease Lower Demand for Cash?

The coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis like no other in modern times, and there is a growing apprehension about handling potentially contaminated cash. The IMF has produced this paper as the first empirical attempt in the literature to investigate whether the risk of infectious diseases affects demand for physical cash.

That being said, it is not possible for all countries to abolish cash altogether. What this means is the transactional constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have become a catalyst for speeding up the shift toward digital forms of money across the world and policymakers  cannot treat digital transformation of financial services as a binary process.



International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. Created in 1945, the IMF is governed by and accountable to the 189 countries that make up its near-global membership. The IMF's primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other. The Fund's mandate was updated in 2012 to include all macroeconomic and financial sector issues that bear on global stability.