Friday 23 March 2012

Sweden Starts to Get Rid of Cash

Last week we published an article “If You Don’t Have EFTPOS You Might As Well Pack Your Bags”. Sweden has gone along way down the rid to getting rid of cash altogether.
In most Swedish cities, public buses don’t accept cash. A growing number of businesses only take cards and some bank offices have stopped handling cash altogether. The Carl Gustaf Church in Karlshamn recently installed a card reader so no-cash worshippers could leave an offering.
Bills and coins represent only 3% of the Swedish economy compared to an average 9% in the Eurozone. Ironically, one of the main proponents of the cashless society is Bjoern Ulvaeus, former member of the 70’s pop group ABBA, who made a fortune on “Money, Money, Money” and other hits. For Ulvaeus it’s a matter of security with bank robberies plunging from 110 in 2008 to just 16 in 2011.
Getting rid of cash helps to get rid of shadow economy activities while the flipside is the risk of cybercrime. Problems like this aside, technology and innovation are driving us to a cashless society.