Sweden's Cashless Experiment: Is It Too Much Too Fast?
No other country is dropping cash as fast as Sweden. In 2018, only 13 percent of Swedes reported using cash for a recent purchase, according to a nationwide survey, down from around 40 percent in 2010. Especially in bigger cities, going cashless is becoming the norm. Purchases usually happen as digital transactions — by card, online or with Sweden's most popular mobile payment app, Swish. But all this change has also spurred a debate in the Nordic nation over the consequences of how quickly Sweden is going cashless, especially for the most vulnerable groups in society. A big reason that Sweden has moved more quickly than other places toward becoming a cashless society is that the country is also considered a pioneer in digital technologies. Strong broadband coverage, even in remote areas, and a small, tech-savvy population of just 10 million have contributed to the cashless trend picking up more quickly in Sweden than elsewhere.
- NPR -