In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenyan telco Safaricom has halted fees for its popular M-Pesa mobile money service. 

The move seeks to encourage people to stop using money, and utilise contactless payments, thus reducing the spreading of germs during the current global health pandemic. 

Moving away from money and towards contactless payments also follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO), who urged the global population to avoid cash handling during this time.

That advice was published after China and South Korea recognised bank notes as significant carriers of bacteria and commenced with isolating and disinfecting used bank notes.

These calls have been backed by those of UniCredit, who have also requested that their customers and partners utilise remote banking to its fullest during the COVID-19. 

As well as this, Irish bank AIB has announced it has halted plans to implement charges for contactless payments. 

The bank offered the following statement with regards to the update: “In the light of the current Covid-19 outbreak AIB is suspending the planned introduction of the contactless fee.”