Some best practices for handling cash during a pandemic

Published April 2, 2020


Many advisories are promoting the use of online transactions and cashless payments as a way of preventing the spread of COVID-19. For most, this may be a practical alternative. But for others, going completely cashless might not be feasible.  

Whether banks are closing their branches or remaining open, many are seeking advice on making cash available and safe, whether from the ATM or inside the branch. Here are a few guidelines you can follow to help protect your customers and employees. 


Protecting your customers

Put up clear, visible signage advising customers to stay at least 2 meters or 6 feet apart while standing in line. It could be a good practice to place colored markers on the floors in your branches to show customers where to stand.  

Your signs should also encourage customers with COVID-19 symptoms to avoid entering the branch to keep from contacting multiple people. Recommend that they use an ATM, or better yet, your bank’s helpline. You can also set up a hand-sanitizing station for customers to use when entering and leaving the branch. 


Protecting your staff

According to the CDC, employees should practice frequent and proper hand-washing between customers. They can also use hand sanitizer, and, if possible, wear gloves when accepting and handling cash, coins and documents.

You can also help keep your branch safer by opening windows and adjusting air conditioning to improve air flow, and disinfecting all surfaces and touchpoints, such as card readers, in-branch kiosks, printers, etc., after every customer.


Protecting your cash

NCR cannot advise on the best way to clean cash or how long the novel coronavirus may remain on cash. We recommend that your financial institution follow guidance from the WHO or your local government.

One option might be to temporarily take any potentially contaminated notes out of circulation, for example by placing all newly accepted notes into plastic bags and holding them in a designated area of the branch for up to 14 days. 

Should you have an ample supply of freshly printed notes, then it is advisable to use those when replenishing your ATM. We strongly advise that your armored guard service partner imposes similar guidelines when replenishing off-premise ATMs.


NCR is a world leader in self-service banking technologies, with a presence in over 160 countries globally. We are committed to helping our customers keep commerce running–now and in the future. Find out more at


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