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Sweden is looking to be the world's first cashless country
As the world’s financial hubs scramble to get ahead in the fintech game, researchers think it’s Sweden that will win the crown (pun intended) of the world’s first fully cashless society.
The nordic nation already has a reputation for being the world’s most cash free country but a recent report by Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology reckon’s the Swedes are poised to rid themselves their loose change forever.
Niklas Arvidsson, a researcher in industrial economics and management at KTH, boasts that the rapid expanding adoption of mobile payments means that his country simply has no need for your primitive paper notes. He says:
"Cash is still an important means of payment in many countries' markets, but that no longer applies here in Sweden. Our use of cash is small, and it's decreasing rapidly."
The report goes on to say that there are less than 80 billion Swedish crowns ($9.6 billion) now in circulation, down from 106 billion six years ago. What’s more, of that amount only around 40-60% is actually in regular circulation, with the being stored away or traded in an underground economy.
However, Arvidsson stops short of giving a date for when we can expect to see the final end of the cash crown. There are still plenty of reasons why paper and coins will persist. An article by the Guardian last year, for example, cited Sweden’s technology-resistant senior citizens, and the need to cater to cash-obsessed foreigners visiting the country, as just two reasons why the 100% cashless dream maybe some way off yet.
Photo: Margo Akermark