In Sweden, cash is declining at high speed

Posted on Nov 2, 2020 at 4:39 PMUpdated Nov 2, 2020, 5:32 PM

The trend continues, accentuated by the coronavirus. More and more Swedes are abandoning cash for other payment solutions. In an annual report taking stock of the situation in this area, the kingdom’s central bank (Riskbanken) notes that the cash y “Disappears faster” than in other countries. Only Norway follows, albeit at a slower pace.

According to this report published last week, 50% of Swedes interviewed on behalf of the central bank said they had paid at least once with cash in the previous thirty days, up from 93% in 2012 and 61 % two years ago. The bank card continues to dominate with 76%, although a slight slowdown compared to 2018 (80%).

During the same month-long period, 75% of the tech-hungry nation’s population used an instant payments (Swish) app, launched in 2012 by major Swedish banks. And 95% of 18-25 year olds now have access to it from their cellphones.

When asked what payment method they used for the most recent purchase, 9% of Swedes surveyed responded with cash, up from 39% ten years ago. This traditional method “Is now used mainly for small sums and above all by the elderly”, comments Riksbanken.

Covid encourages seniors to adopt digital technology

If the survey was carried out in March among 2,000 Swedes, “This evolution has been reinforced” over the current pandemic, points out the institution. Even seniors, the most reluctant (at 54%) towards the gradual disappearance of cash, have increasingly resorted to other solutions since the outbreak of Covid-19. Invited to stay as much as possible at home in this country which has not imposed confinement, they had little choice.

Among the 10 million Swedes, those residing outside the big cities are those who would have the most difficulty getting by without cash, underlines the survey (37%, against 20% among the inhabitants of the three big cities).

It is precisely in order not to forget the seniors, nor the rural people, who deplore the disappearance of cash, that the parliament of this non-member state of the euro zone adopted a law obliging the main banks to continue to make available to ticket machines all over the country. Since its entry into force, however, the amounts withdrawn have continued to decrease, says Riksbanken.

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