Sweden is on track to becoming the world’s first cashless society, thanks to the country’s embrace of information technology as well as a crackdown on organized crime and terror, according to a new study.
1) Cash is still an important means of payment in many countries’ markets, but that no longer applies here in Sweden. Use of cash is very minimal, and it’s decreasing rapidly.
2) In a country where bank cards are routinely used for even the smallest purchases, there are less than 80 billion Swedish crowns in circulation, a sharp decline from just six years ago, when 106 billion Swedish crowns were in circulation.
3) “And out of that amount, only somewhere between 40 and 60 per cent is actually in regular circulation,” says Niklas Arvidsson, a researcher at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. The rest is socked away in people’s homes and bank deposit boxes, or can be found circulating in the underground economy.
4) The widespread and growing embrace of the mobile payment system, Swish, is helping hasten the day when Sweden replaces cash altogether.
5) The result of collaboration between major Swedish and Danish banks, Swish is a direct payment app that is used for transactions between individuals, in real time.The service’s direct collaboration with Bankgiro and Sweden’s national bank, Riksbanken, is a critical factor in its success, researchers said.
6) If Swish starts to be used on a larger scale and grow to include retail transactions and e-commerce, Arvidsson said it is likely the country’s entire payment system infrastructure will have to be revamped.
7) Swedish banks have been early adopters of advanced IT systems, he said. Besides simplicity and lower costs, digital payments also add transparency to the nation’s payment system.
8) Several banks in Sweden already have 100 per cent digitalized branches that will simply not accept cash.
9) “At the offices which do handle banknotes and coins, the customer must explain where the cash comes from, according to the regulations aimed at money laundering and terrorist financing,” he added.
This country sets a standard for various different aspects of life. Way to go, this Scandinavian beauty!!!