Seven in 10 Swedish people want to keep cash

Mar 23, 2018

An overwhelming 7 in 10 people polled in Sweden have stated that they are not on board with a cashless future.

The 2018 survey was commissioned by Bankomat AB, an ATM chain company from Sweden created in cooperation between a number of banks in September 2010. Over 2,000 people aged 18-65 were polled over telephone interviews between January 23rd-February 3rd 2018.*

Among the 18 to 29-year-old participants, a majority of 56% declared that they still want keep cash. Among the 65-year-olds polled, 85% said they still want to keep cash. Only one in every four Swedish people would support a cashless nation.

The Scandinavian country is home to approximately 2 million people aged over 65 years. Inspiring an air of reflection, the elderly demographic has reminded the Swedish parliament that going cashless would dramatically exclude their needs as well as those of children and tourists who rely on cash. Continue reading...

The results beg the question, is Sweden on the forefront of going cashless because of popular demand or because of central bank interests?

Excerpt from The Local article

The Riksbank head has proposed that the law should change so that banks are obliged to handle cash – in Sweden, it is often the case that they do not.

"If the power supply is cut it's no longer possible to make electronic payments. For reasons based purely in preparedness we need notes and coins that work without electricity."
"Stefan IngvesGovernorRiksbank

Views on cash expressed in the survey varied significantly between those in small towns and those in large cities. The proportion of cash advocates was lowest in capital Stockholm, and highest in Västmanland, Värmland and Kalmar counties.

Excerpt from Bankomat AB press release (translated)

Sju av tio vill ha kvar kontanter! (Seven in 10 want to keep cash!)

Approximately 68 percent of Swedes want cash to remain a payment option in the future, compared with 25 percent who want a completely cashless society, according to results of a survey commissioned by Bankomat AB in 2018. The remaining 7 percent of respondents said either that they didn't know or that they found the question too difficult to decide.

"More and more people choose to pay digitally, but it is still an overwhelming majority who also wants to keep cash as a payment method,"
"Johan NilsCustomer and Marketing ManagerBankomat AB

When asked, "Do you want cash to be left as a possible way to pay even in the future, or do you want a completely cashless society?" Sixty-eight percent answered, "I want cash to be left as a possible way to pay."

*Please note: The 2018 survey was updated in 2019, and found a 4% increase, with 72% of respondents wanting to keep cash.

See 2019 survey results here

Related articles

Cash Matters Sweden worries a dash to cashless is too rash (Feb 21, 2018)
Going cashless was once a dream for Sweden, but experts now warn it could quickly turn into a nightmare for the Scandinavian country... 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.

Cash Matters Sweden's Björn Eriksson and the Cash Uprising (Mar 7, 2018)
Björn Eriksson - one of Sweden's best-known cash champions and civil servants - published a pro-cash white paper in 2014 titled Korten på bordet (Cards on the Table). The impact of the document trickled through the Cash Debate ever since, but it wasn't translated into English until Currency Research got on the case.

Bloomberg World Sticks to Cash as Sweden Heads Alone into Cashless Future (Mar 11, 2018)
When it comes to abandoning cash, Sweden is going it mostly alone. While cash in circulation in the Nordic region’s largest economy has dropped rapidly in recent years, the amount of notes and coins has risen in most of the rest of the developed world since the global financial crisis, according to a report from the Bank for International Settlements.

Bankomat AB Press Release Sju av tio vill ha kvar kontanter' (Mar 19, 2018)
Translated: Seven out of ten Swedes want cash to remain as a possible method of payment in the future. Only one in four want a completely cashless society. This shows a new Sifound search ordered by Bankomat AB.

The Local Most Swedes don't want country to go cash free: poll (Mar 19, 2018)
Swedes may be happy using cards and alternative payment methods, but the majority don't want the country to scrap cash entirely, a new survey suggests.

STUDY Riksbank Payment patterns in Sweden 2018 (May 2018)
Payment patterns also differ with regard to different population groups, where younger people tend to prefer electronic payments to a greater extent. The use of cash is somewhat greater in rural areas than for the country as a whole and is at around the same level as in the 2016 survey.

Last Updated: Jun 4, 2019