In Cashless Sweden, Even God Now Takes Collection Via an App

Love Liman and Niklas Magnusson – May 14, 2017

According to the central bank, which is also studying whether to launch its own digital currency, the main reason for the disappearing act is technical innovation.

Riksbank Deputy Governor Cecilia Skingsley notes that Swedes were early adopters of both personal computers and mobile phones (remember those Ericsson phones?), and that the country’s banks were quick to create sector-wide structures such as debit cards, credit cards and Swish, which has 5.5 million users and is owned by the country’s largest banks. Swedes also seem to trust those systems, she said in a recent interview in Stockholm.

“A drive for innovation has been created in Sweden to come up with cost-effective and user-friendly alternatives to cash,” Skingsley said. Cash is likely to “more or less disappear” as a means of payment in the private sector, she said.