Cashless society just around the corner – A cash-free future nears

June 5, 2015 Torben Rick


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An ongoing evolution – A cash-free future nears

Until now credit cards and online banking have emerged only to complement cash, not to replace it. But in spite of how entrenched hard currency seems, it looks like the tide is finally turning.

Few places are tilting toward a cashless future as quickly as Sweden, which has become hooked on the convenience of paying by app and plastic. This country, home to the music streaming service Spotify and the maker of the Candy Crush mobile games, has been lured by the innovations that make digital payments easier. It is also a practical matter, as many of the country’s banks no longer accept or dispense cash.

For an increasing number of consumers, cash is no longer a habit

Bills and coins now represent just 2 percent of Sweden’s economy, compared with 7.7 percent in the United States and 10 percent in the euro area. In 2015 only about 20 percent of all consumer payments in Sweden have been made in cash, compared with an average of 75 percent in the rest of the world, according to Euromonitor International.

Push for cashless society – Is a cashless society really just around the corner?

The government of Denmark is proposing to bring the nation one step closer to eliminating cash by removing the legal requirement for businesses such as clothing retailers, gas stations and restaurants to accept physical money.

Surprisingly, this is not as drastic a measure as it may seem: many Danes are already relatively independent of cash and coin, with nearly 40 percent of the paying demographic using MobilePay, a Danske Bank app that allows all payments to be completed via smartphone. Think Google Wallet or Apple Pay en masse, but with super widespread adoption.

The Danes are also in the EU top three when it comes to “credit card payments” (Dankort).

 

Cashless society just around the corner - Mobilepay

 

Cashless society is no longer an illusion but a vision that can be fulfilled within a reasonable time frame.

The point of going cashless

So what’s the point of going cashless? For Denmark, it’s all part of a policy package aimed at streamlining businesses – minimizing costs and increasing productivity. It also lessens the chances of theft, although digital fraud is a very real concern.

 

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Torben Rick
Cashless society just around the corner – A cash-free future nears

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