In March 2015, Bill Gates delivered a TED talk about global preparation for the next big outbreak. The world had just avoided a global outbreak of Ebola. Twelve years earlier, in 2003, the SARS epidemic had spread to more than two dozen countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
In 2020, what Gates had described as the “greatest risk of global catastrophe” became reality. Governments around the world were spurred into action to contain the threat and both business and government began to seriously look at long-term changes to protect against communicable disease in all facets of daily life.
As the health crisis intensified and lockdowns came into force, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted almost every facet of daily life, and cash and payments were not immune and quickly became a focal point for disease control.