Is Sweden poised to become the world’s first cashless society?
Select language to see a machine translation of this article. The original language of the Article is English and the translation is provided for your convenience.

Is Sweden poised to become the world’s first cashless society?

Cash usage is dropping rapidly in Sweden, now making up just 13% of all national transactions, according to the country’s central bank, the Riksbanken. Could Sweden become the world’s first “cashless society”? Researchers at The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm think it could – and much faster than you’re probably thinking: within five years!

It’s been a great year for cashless payment providers Visa and Mastercard’s share prices!

graph 0806 visa

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Sweden’s journey away from cash has been swift. Between 2012 and 2014, the number of notes and coins in circulation dropped by 30%, and it has more-than halved over the past decade. This puts Sweden out in front of almost every other country, where cash still rules supreme: there are currently $500 billion banknotes and trillions of coins in circulation worldwide.

While the Royal Institute of Technology thinks five years will see cash go extinct in Sweden, the Riksbanken is making a slightly more cautious forecast. Cecilia Skingsley, the central bank’s deputy governor, suggests it could be just over a decade away: “If you extrapolate current trends, the last note will have been handed back to the Riksbank by 2030.”

Sweden, whose central bank has even considered releasing the world’s first central bank-backed cryptocurrency in response to the diminishing popularity of cash, is certainly out ahead of the crowd. But the world can learn from watching how the situation plays out – because technology has changed the way finance works, and the rest of the world is not on a different journey from Sweden – they’re just some way behind it.


Dominion holds Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

If you would you like to receive the Newsfeeds daily, please click here to sign up now!

Help us make this Newsfeed better by rating this article. 1 star = Poor and 5 stars = Excellent
0.0/5 rating (0 votes)

The views expressed in this article are those of the author at the date of publication and not necessarily those of Dominion Fund Management Limited. The content of this article is not intended as investment advice and will not be updated after publication. Images, video, quotations from literature and any such material which may be subject to copyright is reproduced in whole or in part in this article on the basis of Fair use as applied to news reporting and journalistic comment on events.