14 January 2016

A study: Who is living on cash?

There are many arguments invoked in order to encourage people to use payment cards more frequently: a card is a faster, simpler and safer way to pay. However, these arguments are not enough for the topic on payment cards to hit the front pages in the media.

“VRP Hill+Knowlton Strategies” has proposed SEB Bank to look at this topic from a slightly different perspective. In collaboration with National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute, we conducted a bacteriological study of paper banknotes, coins and payment cards. The main goal of this study was to figure out how many bacteria banknotes and other payment tools host.
A study: Who is living on cash?
Situation
Bigger part of Lithuanians tend to pay in cash. According to SEB Bank statistics, in the first half of 2015, more than one-third (34%) money was paid by card taking into account the total amount of money spent paying either by card or in cash. Arguments claiming that a payment card is a faster, simpler and safer way to pay are frequently discussed, however not everybody is convinced with that. The main task of “VRP Hill+Knowlton Strategies” was to search for new insights and interesting forms on how to communicate this important topic in both media and society.
Solution
Health is a relevant topic for many people. Thus, what does wellness have in common along with payment tools? In collaboration with National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute, we conducted a bacteriological study of paper banknotes, coins and payment cards. The main goal of this study was to figure out what kind of bacteria or pathogens that may have a negative influence on one`s health we may find on the surfaces. We invited the largest Lithuanian media representatives to National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute laboratory in which we presented the results visually. The study revealed that the number of bacteria on the paper banknote may reach up to 2300, whereas on the payment card – around 40 on average.
Results
After expansion of the client`s arguments field, the topic received a wide echo in the media: more channels were reached than usually because not only the business and news media representatives, but also health care journalists published information about this study. In total, more than 20 messages about study results were received in news sites, press as well as on television and radio, whereas the conducted research is still being mentioned in various publications on payment cards.
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