PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Norway Considers Rules to Ensure Consumers Can Pay With Cash

The government of Norway has reportedly proposed rules designed to ensure that consumers can pay with cash.

These measures are meant to ensure that those who are reluctant to use digital payments can pay with notes and coins, Bloomberg reported Friday (March 8), citing a statement from Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl.

The measures are also meant to ensure that society is prepared for emergencies, according to the report.

The proposed measures will ensure that customers can pay with cash at any sales location where other types of payment are accepted, the report said.

Norway’s central bank said in May that while only 3% of the country’s consumers used cash in their most recent purchase at a physical store, there has been a growing number of cash withdrawals at ATMs and shops, per the report.

Similar measures to protect the ability to use cash have been proposed in Norway’s neighbor, Sweden, according to the report.

It was reported in April 2023 that real-time payments volume in Norway was growing at the expense of cash.

Real-time payments volume in the country represented a 6.5% share of total payments volume in 2022 and is expected to reach a 15.1% share in 2027, according to ACI Worldwide’s 2023 It’s Prime Time for Real-Time report.

“This growth is unusual for the region, coming not only at the expense of cash’s share of payments volume but also other forms of electronic payments, showing that consumers are actively moving away from card and ‘slow’ transfers to real-time payments in this market,” the report said.

In 2018, Swedish lawmakers tried to slow down that nation’s move toward going entirely cashless by forcing the country’s largest banks to offer cash withdrawals and handle daily receipts.

“We believe that the continued development of access to cash in society needs to take place in a controlled manner so that the public’s and society’s need for cash is fulfilled,” a parliamentary committee said at the time.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Swiss National Bank said in February that while companies have adopted additional payment methods, “Cash acceptance continues to be high and has changed little since 2021.”