COVID-19 delivers data bonanza for banks, card companies and Google

Banks, card companies and online search providers are reaping a free bonanza in consumer data they are using to market goods and service to us.

Never before has so much of our buying and consuming behaviour been freely available for payments and search providers to sell to marketing companies. COVID-19 and the associated fake news from some corporations about the “dirtiness of cash” has delivered those companies free access to more of our data.

“I am concerned that banks could use my data to help them assess my loan,” said Tim Wildash, Chief Executive Officer of leading independent ATM supplier, Next Payments.

“I am concerned that large international corporations are spreading fake news about cash, then getting all of my consumer data for free and on-selling it to who knows?

“With cash, I am in control of who knows what I am spending my money on. Cash is private but these card companies are profiting from my information and I have no real idea what they are doing with it,” said Tim Wildash.

“Not only do the card companies get my data, they charge my an exorbitant fee for each transaction.

“$500 of spending on a card can cost the consumer $8 in credit card fees,” said Tim Wildash

“Plastic credit cards are super virus carriers and so is an Eftpos terminal that is used hundreds of times per day.

“That’s not fake news, that has been confirmed by another recent study.

“Cash from an ATM is clean, safe and has been stored to ensure it is disease-free. Australia and New Zealand have some of the safest, cleanest polymer notes in the world and the best thing about cash is that it’s surcharge-free,” said Tim Wildash.

95 per cent of Aussies and Kiwis want to retain their right to use cash according to recent market research from Next Payments.

Reserve Bank of Australia documents released under Freedom of Information on the 3 June 2020 show the RBA has investigated the issue of virus transmission and currency and concluded cash poses no significant risk of carrying viruses.

Debit and credit cards may carry many more germs than bank notes and coins according to recent American research.

The Royal Australian Mint says there is no evidence linking cash to the transmission of COVID-19. Cash is sanitised before being delivered by cash companies to venues and ATM operators.

For more comments, interview or information:
Tim Wildash – +61 418 336 599 /
New Zealand: Craig Whale +64 21 440 683 /
Jason Bryce, Journalist – +61 428 777 727 /