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Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Infection COVID-19 when Handling Cash

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has prepared a range of measures for preventing the spread of coronavirus infection COVID-19 when handling cash.

The NBU will deliver cash to banks from NBU vaults

The Regulator will accept from banks hryvnia cash that was in circulation and will provide banks with the cash from vaults instead:

  • first the cash on stock form previous periods will be delivered (before the spread of coronavirus infection in Ukraine)
  • then – the cash that was quarantined.

The NBU will deliver cash to banks free-of-charge*(until 1 May 2020) and will consider their need for value and number of cash.

NBU cash reserves are sufficient to meet the demand of the national economy.

Cash in NBU vaults is fit for circulation and underwent automated treatment in specialized high-speed machines.

At the same time, the cash the NBU receives from circulation:

  • is first stored separately for at least 14 days, this term greatly exceeds the period for coronavirus survival on surfaces (from a few hours to a few days)
  •  only after this, the banknotes will be treated in specialized automated high-speed machines. Banknotes fit for circulation will be packed in bundles and shrink wrap. At this stage banknote bundles undergo a thermal stress (160 degrees Celsius) in a shrinking furnace also contributing to containing the virus spread.

Please note, that NBU employees that handle cash and deliver currency valuables use disinfectants for treating hands and surfaces, as well as other protection means.

Recommendations for banks on handling cash

Considering the possible spread of the coronavirus infection, the NBU recommends banks:

  • to provide employees handling cash (both domestic and foreign currencies) with sufficient disinfectants to treat hands and other protection means (special clothes etc.), as well as protection equipment for cash collectors
  • to additionally treat bank branches handling cash with UV light to disinfect cash unit, vaults, cash desks, and customer premises
  • to disinfect cash cassettes to be loaded in ATMs, cassettes/sacks for transporting cash, as well as CIT vehicles using UV light or other means at banks’ discretion
  • to prioritize treatment and UV disinfection of cash (banknotes and coins) from borderline and customs agencies, airports/railway stations, retail companies, and public transport
  • to deliver timely worn-out and unfit cash to authorized banks and the NBU
  • to decide on the mechanism for continuous cash supply considering various scenarios
  • to store and treat cash from customers for at least 14 days after receipt
  • to select the key employees for seamless cash supply, minimum required CIT services, maximum use of communications, and compliance with hygiene standards for storing cash etc.

Business and the public should limit contact with cash

At the same time, for preventing the spread of coronavirus, the NBU recommends to switch to noncash settlements.

With that in mind, the NBU urges:

  • to limit contact with cash (both domestic and foreign currencies)
  • to reduce cash withdrawals from ATMs
  • to resort to remote banking
  • to use noncash, preferably contactless payment means (90% of POS-terminals in Ukraine support such payments).

Thoroughly wash your hands and avoid touching you face after handling banknotes and coins. Also, regularly disinfect payment cards, smartphones, payment terminals, other mobile devices used for noncash payments.

* A decision approved by an individual NBU Board Resolution

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