Going cashless was once a dream for Sweden, but experts now warn it could quickly turn into a nightmare for the Scandinavian country.
The nation's parliament has thus launched a review on the impact of going cashless after fears that it dramatically excludes the needs of the elderly, children and tourists who rely on cash.
The Riksbank committee hopes to publish a report on the expected outcomes of a cashless Sweden by summer 2018 (mark your calendars).
The main worries are that the war on cash is spurring a transition that is too quick for a stable outcome and although the e-krona might work as a digital complement to cash, it cannot replace it. So why should it?
Excerpt from The Times article
Sweden may put the brakes on its dash to do away with cash after warnings that all-digital transactions would hurt the elderly and the poor.
The country’s parliament has begun a review into the consequences of changing to a cash-free economy, which is happening at such a rate that it has surprised even advocates of the system. “
“If this development with cash disappearing happens too fast, it can be difficult to maintain the infrastructure for handling cash,”
Stefan Ingves, governor of Riksbank, the central bank, has said that Sweden should consider forcing banks to provide cash krone to customers to prevent the paper and coin system drying up.
Bjorn Eriksson, a former national police commissioner and head of Interpol, said that he was “angry because about a million people can’t cope with cards: the elderly, former convicts, tourists, immigrants. The banks don’t care because [these people] are not profitable.”
"We think that cash will stick around until the 2030s,”
Christina Tallberg, chairwoman of PRO, a Swedish pensioners’ organisation, said in 2016 that “it’s important to many older people to be able to use cash . . . It is legal tender and you have to be able to use it until parliament decides otherwise.” Continue reading...
Bremner, Charles. 'Cashless society ‘would hurt Sweden’s elderly’. The Times. Electronically published February 21, 2018. Accessed February 21, 2018.
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