- Sweden is already considered as the ‘most cashless nation’
- According to data from the country’s central bank, the Riksbank, more Swedes have access to a payment card than to cash
Sweden is winning the race towards becoming the world’s first completely cashless society.
It’s already considered as the ‘most cashless nation’; with barely 1 percent of the value of all payments made using coins or notes. For example, the country has banned cash on buses for concerns over drivers’ safety.
According to data from the country’s central bank, the Riksbank, more Swedes have access to a payment card than to cash. And the overwhelming majority of the nation — 85 percent — have access to online banking.
“In the not-too-distant future, Sweden may become a society in which cash is no longer generally accepted,” the Swedish central bank has said.
Earlier this year, Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves said that a completely cashless society would mean a small number of commercial players being responsible for all payments in Sweden, posing a threat to the infrastructure for payments. A cashless Sweden could be unprepared if faced with a crisis, he added.
“Our own starting point really is that we provide notes and coins to the society to the extent that society wants to use our version of money versus other versions of money as long as it is safe and efficient,” Cecilia Skingsley, deputy governor of Riksbank, told CNBC in a phone interview.