Sweden is currently the most ‘cashless’ society on the planet, with just 1% of the value of all payments made with notes or coins in 2016, compared to 7% across the EU and the US. How has the Nordic national gotten so far ahead of the rest of the world?
An increasingly common sight in Sweden are signs which say, “We don’t accept cash.”
Many businesses proudly display the sign in an effort in minimise the risk of being robbed and also for the ease of the customer, as it is much quicker to simply pay by card.
Across the country, cash is now used in less than 20% of in store transactions which is half of the number 5 years ago. In addition, coins and notes are also no longer allowed as a form of payment on buses after unions raised concerns over drivers’ safety several years ago.
Even tourist attractions, such as the Abba Museum and Stockholm’s Pop House Hotel, are now taking plastic-only payments.
Sweden has an infrastructure as being one of the most connected countries in the EU, its relatively small population is ideal for research and experimentation for innovations in the cashless sector and they are very proud of their historically low corruption levels. By 2020, it is expected that the use of cash will most likely be reduced to a very marginal form of payment.
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