DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is enlisting the help of military shoppers in its fight to protect warfighters, families and installation communities from the global spread of COVID-19.In an effort to help keep point-of-sale areas as sanitary as possible, Exchanges worldwide will now ask customers to make purchases using a bank-issued credit or debit card, MILITARY STAR card or gift card instead of cash. The initiative, which also encourages shoppers to minimize cash-back and check-cashing transactions, is expected to further strengthen existing efforts to protect authorized shoppers and Exchange associates, including disinfecting customer service and sales point areas multiple times daily.“Paper money and coins can harbor bacteria and viruses long after they change hands,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “While we understand this may cause some inconvenience for customers who primarily pay with cash, we thought it best to put the health and safety of our military communities first and ask for their help in the fight to contain this virus.”While shoppers at all Exchanges are encouraged to minimize the use of cash, some locations may transition to a card-only environment as determined by local needs. Customers in need of cash transactions or services can contact their local Exchange to inquire about the status of such transactions at their nearest location.For more on what the Exchange is doing to support military communities during the pandemic, visit the Exchange Community Hub here.