Yet another myth debunked: ‘Debit and credit cards turned out to be the dirtiest payment method’

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Post-COVID-19, marketers have been sowing the seeds of a new fear. For instance, Visa, in its article “Four ways open loop systems make transit better for everyone,” claims that “for riders, open-loop systems and contactless payments help provide a … more hygienic payment experience.”

But is that really the case? My curiosity led me to a recent report by LendEDU which surprisingly reveals that debit and credit cards, on average, are dirtier than cash and coins.

This finding adds another layer of complexity to the already debated advantages of open-loop payments such as speed and increased ridership, aspects I delved into in my previous posts.

If we consider, for instance, the daily London metro ridership, which amounts to around 3 million journeys, validators are touched by a vast variety of cards countless times. So, it’s not surprising that they might be dirtier than cash.

This goes to show how empirical and hypothetical ideas, amplified by biased perspectives, can lead to misleading conclusions. Let’s not let myths guide our strategies in the world of mobility payments. Truth and facts should take the driver’s seat!

Germs on debit cards