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Sweden Goes Full Steam Ahead Toward a Cashless Society, But Some Say 'Not So Fast'

In today's world, everything is geared toward convenience and ease for consumers, firms, and all other stakeholders. So it would be a lot easier if we could simply do away with unnecessary things. For Sweden, cash seems to be one of those things.

Being able to purchase quickly through apps, debit cards, and credit cards removes the hassle of trying to find the right amount of bills in your wallet. It's just one swipe away and you're out of the store.

Because of this, some of their banks have even stopped doing any cash transactions completely. But a certain portion of the population may not be able to keep up with this trend.

“We have around one million people who aren’t comfortable using the computer, iPads or iPhones for banking,” said Christina Tallberg, 75, the group’s national president. “We aren’t against the digital movement, but we think it’s going a bit too fast.”

They say they're not trying to stop the digital revolution and it would definitely help the economy. However, they would like this to be carefully studied in order to consider all possible implications to the economy.

Read Liz Alderman's whole article on The New York Times.

(Image credit: Loulou d'Aki/The New York Times)

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In the late 90's, around 1997 Sweden gvt ran the "one computer in every home" project where millions bought a PC with Internet connection subsidized. At the same time the mobile phone revolution began with Ericsson and Nokia phones becoming norm. Even writing cheques was obsolete in the 1970's and debit cards widely common from early 90's.

So newly retired people now in their 70's were much younger when this slow paced digital "revolution" began. Sure smartphone payments weren't around 10 years ago but cashless society has existed at least 20 years. We won't get off their lawn. I'm swede in my 40's and rarely ever use cash. All bills are digital in your bank inbox, and the Swish app made easy person to person transfers possible, based on the bank-id authentication system. No need to carry cash when you go to typical cash places like a flea market or answer a classified ad. Also the remaining ATM's are co-owned by the major banks under a common brand so you'll only need one per location, every card fits. But mostly if you need cash you get it in your local grocery store. Buy goods for 50 kr, say "I want 100 cash too", they'll debit 150 kr and give 100 in cash return. No bank or ATM needed. This cash is hard to deposit yes so it'll have to be spent.
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