Does a “cashless utopia” sound too goo to be true?
That’s what the city of Uppsala, Sweden is aiming to become, as Swedenbank and MasterCard trial the use of several cashless platforms – such as the KOY mobile app – in the city in an attempt to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of cash.
As Finextra notes, Uppsala is the fourth-largest city in Sweden, and the University-centric town is seen “as an ideal testing ground for the application of mobile payment-related technology.” One of the primary functions of the trial is to reduce crime in Uppsala, as cashless transactions reduce the risk of robbery.
“Swedenbank’s role in this project is to actively — in collaboration with other organizations I Uppsala — try to make this town safer and more welcoming for our inhabitants,” said Per Ericsson, cash management project manager for Swedenbank in Uppsala.
“All official numbers show that cash usage is decreasing and card payments are increasing. “
To show how the KOY mobile app and platform works, MasterCard highlighted two locations in Uppsala that have used the system to their benefit. Ica Nara Folkes Livs, a local merchant, said it saw up to 200 extra customers a day when it sent out a good deal through KOY. The Sushi of Sweden estimated that 99 percent of its customers own a card, and billed itself as a “cash-free restaurant.”
The Swedish Evangelical Mission showcased a payments terminal called “Kollektomat”in its church as well, and noted that one-third of its donations are now made via card.
“All these efforts mean a safer society for all of us,” Ericsson said.
Watch a video of Uppsala and its cashless conversion below.