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Sweden’s Central Bank Proposes Rules to Facilitate Use of Cash

Swedish currency

Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, has proposed several measures to make it easier to pay with cash or digital payments.

The central bank also called for an expansion of the Swedish government’s current inquiry into the use of cash to pay for essential goods, the Riksbank said in a Thursday (March 14) press release announcing the publication of its Payments Report 2024.

“Payments must work for everyone,” Erik Thedéen, governor of the Riksbank and chairman of the executive board, said in the release. “In the longer term, all payments may be digital — but until then, cash plays an important role. We need legislation to ensure that cash can be used to pay. Banks must also ensure that more customers have access to payment accounts.”

In one proposal, the Riksbank said that it, other authorities and banks should have a role in ensuring that cash can be transported to and from retail outlets at reasonable prices. Currently, there is only one private company doing that.

The central bank also said banks should be required to accept cash deposits from private individuals. Today, there is no such requirement.

The Riksbank also proposed that banks be required to offer “low-risk accounts” with limited functionality to people, companies and associations that are seen as risky customers and are currently excluded from payment accounts.

In another effort to tailor services to the needs of customers, the central bank proposed that banks and other payment service providers should be required to simplify their payments and identification procedures to accommodate people who have difficulty using digital technology.

To encourage companies and associations to accept cash as payment, the Riksbank proposed that banks should modify their limits on how much cash these entities can deposit in an account. Currently, deposit machines often have “excessively low limits” that make it difficult for companies to deposit their daily earnings, the release said.

The Riksbank also said in the press release that it will work with companies to ensure that payment operations can continue in times of crisis, that it continues to consider the development of an e-krona, and that it is investigating the possibility of expanding access to its payment system, RIX.

This announcement comes about a week after it was reported that Sweden’s neighbor, Norway, proposed measures that will enable consumers to pay with cash at any sales location where other types of payment are accepted.