Sweden Close To Being A Cash-free Country

Posted: November 4, 2014 in Econ 101, Society and Culture, Technology and Energy

SOURCE: http://www.business-standard.com/article/international/sweden-close-to-being-a-cash-free-country-114110400784_1.html

Sweden close to being a cash-free country

Sweden, along with other Nordic countries, is in the process of easing out the use or paper currency entirely

has become the only country in Europe that is on the verge of becoming a ‘cash-free’ country. Sweden, along with other Nordic countries, is in the process of easing out the use or paper currency entirely.
Embracing technological advancement in the field, Sweden has almost eliminated the use of cash by replacing it with and credit and debit cards.
“Four out of five purchases in Sweden are made electronically or by debit card,” Sweden’s The Local reports.
Sweden’s move to embrace technology is almost unique compared to some other European countries such as Italy where cash is still the preferred mode of payment.
Niklas Arvidsson, an associate professor of industrial dynamics, told The Local that the reliance on cash “…is due to the low confidence in the authorities and the banking system”.
Björn Kristian Ulvaeus, former member of the Swedish hit musical group ABBA has been quite vocal in his vision of making Sweden the world’s first cashless country.
“The concept of money is really a very abstract one,” he said in an interview to Businessweek.com.  “It doesn’t need that physical thing attached to it, I don’t think. Not in 2014 and beyond.”
Analysts, however, predict that it will take at least two decades for Sweden to become completely cash-free.
Others are also moving to sideline the use of paper currency, especially in the US where retailers are looking at incorporating mobile wallets into their payments process.
And with the launch of Apple’s latest mobile payment service Apple Pay, retailers have been particularly intrigued by the tool that is designed to allow the latest iPhone 6 to pay for goods and services using a built-in NFC chip.
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