Sweden Is Nearly Cashless

Swedes are increasingly drifting away from cash, according to a new report released by the Swedish Federation of Trade (Svensk Handel). ) with four out of five purchases in Sweden made electronically (either by debit or credit).

“Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia leads the world in terms of cashless trading,” said Bengt Nilervall at the Swedish Federation of Trade (Svensk Handel).

This draws a start contrast with southern Europe, where cash continues in its dominance.

“That is due to the low confidence in the authorities and the banking system,” said Niklas Arvidsson, an associate professor of industrial dynamics.

Arvidsson further noted that Sweden could become completely cash free, but notes that the siren song of cash will probably continue to hold others in its thrall for some time and that  the full transition is unlikely until at least 2030.

“The familiarity of cash in the hand could prevent this. A recent Sifo survey showed that 2/3 people consider (the availability of) cash to be a human right,” he said.

Despite cash’s wounded status among Swedes, the government has announced that a new range of bank notes will hit circulation in 2015.