Every day we’re handling payments. Be it in the form of cash, cards or coins; from paying for our groceries at the cashier to handing spare change to street buskers – our fingers, at one point or another, will come in contact with them. But do you ever wonder exactly what you’re getting your hands on? Student Loan Refinancing company LendEDU did and they tell us exactly how.
Using a scientific device that tests for the amount of germs on a given surface, the LendEDU team tested just how dirty cash, debit/credit cards and coins are. Their research found that:
- On average, credit cards tend to be dirtier than debit cards with the former recording an average germ score of 314 while the latter at 243.
- After testing 27 different bills, the average germ score for cash turned out to be 160.
- On average, US$5 bills were the dirtiest, with an average germ score of 216 while US$100 bills were the cleanest carrying 76 as a score.
- Testing out 12 different US dollar coins, the average germ score for one was 136 – making it the cleanest of all average payment forms.
- US dimes turned out to be the dirtiest type of coin, while US quarters were the cleanest.
Based on the overall results, debit and credit cards turned out to be the dirtiest payment method. Interestingly enough, a 2014 Europe-wide MasterCard study found two thirds of people think touching or using money is unhygienic, but only one in five Europeans wash their hands after coming in contact with it.
It’s highly unlikely that our paying habits will change dramatically anytime soon. But it goes without being said that practicing good hygiene could – and, well, should be changed accordingly. Find a more detailed report by LendEDU and check out their informative infographic here.