Sweden will become the first cashless society in 2023. In 2021 it will introduce its own digital e-Krona currency

From 24 March 2023, cash will no longer be accepted as a means of payment in Sweden. Coins and banknotes will not disappear completely in the beginning. But no one will be able to use them and they will end up as collectibles in museum collections.

Today, about 80% of Swedes use cards. 58% of payments are made by card and only 6% by cash, according to the Swedish Central Bank.

Online payments have risen sharply with more restaurants and shops no longer accepting cash payments. Most Swedish banks have stopped allowing customers to make cash transactions at checkouts. Many bank branches across the country have closed. Cash management is extremely expensive due to the high security systems.

The entire population in Sweden has mobile coverage and in recent years, almost all purchases have been made electronically: via debit / credit card using chip and Pin, through contactless transaction technology, or via mobile such as the Swish app designed by its six largest banks country to facilitate their customers. The same trend is observed in other Nordic countries, such as Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

Both the banks and the Swedish government are encouraging people to adopt a cashless economy. Today, Swish is used by more than 50% of the population, while less than 13% of the population trades in cash. Swedish banks issue debit cards to citizens aged seven and over (with parental leave), which translates to more than 97% of the population. In this way, young citizens become familiar with the idea of ​​a cashless society that will be the future.

Cash accounts for less than 1% of total transactions in Sweden. More than 99% of merchants accept debit cards and cash payments account for less than 20% of total transactions. Sweden has always been one of the first countries to adopt new technologies. In 1661, it was the first country in Europe to introduce banknotes, and in recent years the Nordic country has been at the forefront of banking innovation. The first automatic cash machine in the country was installed and ready for use in July 1967.

Reducing bank robberies and drug and arms sales was also one of the reasons Sweden decided to abolish cash. Bank robberies have dropped significantly in recent years, as most banks in Sweden do not have cash, and branches continue to close one after another.

Finally, the Central Bank of Sweden is testing its own digital currency, the e-Krona, which is expected to accelerate the country’s transition to a cashless society. The e-Krona pilot program started in 2019 and will be adopted throughout the country in 2021.

Source: διαφορετικό by www.diaforetiko.gr.

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