Denmark is following Sweden and Norway and, by the end of December, will stop producing its own currency, opting instead to outsource production to Finland.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Denmark’s central bank has stopped printing banknotes and, by the end of December, will have shut down its last mint. The banknotes are waning in popularity, so much so that the Danish central bank isn’t in a rush to find a subcontractor to print them for it. The move to get rid of cash isn’t reserved to just Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The European Central Bank, Venezuela and India are also moving away from cash, particularly when it comes to high-denomination banknotes, which are used by criminals.
In November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India announced the country’s 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee banknotes are no more and are being taken out of circulation. As reported back then by the BBC, taking those notes out of the financial system represents an effort to stymie fraud efforts, corruption and what the site noted as “illegal cash holdings.” Modi stated that the illegal activities are among the “biggest obstacles in eradicating poverty” — with a bead being drawn on tax evaders, according to the BBC.
While a handful of countries are moving to a cashless society, Scandinavia is by far the leader and is often called out for being a trailblazer in moving to a cashless society. Bloomberg noted Denmark and Sweden are among the countries with the lowest percentage of notes and coins that are in circulation. The move to a cashless society is being driven by more than just clamping down on the bad guys. Bloomberg pointed to a June report by the Danish central bank, which found the costs associated with handling cash have more than doubled as compared to domestic debit card payments. What’s more, the report showed that very few Danish merchants prefer cash over credit and debit cards. A concern about being robbed was one of the reasons for not wanting cash payments.