Dick Hanscom forwarded this BBC News article about Sweden's growing cashless society. Thanks. -Editor
Sweden is the most cashless society on the planet, with barely 1% of the value of all payments made using coins or notes last year. So how did the Nordic nation get so far ahead of the rest of
Warm cinnamon buns are stacked next to mounds of freshly-baked sourdough bread at a neighbourhood coffee shop in Kungsholmen, just west of Stockholm city centre.
Amongst the other typically Scandinavian touches - minimalist white tiles and exposed filament light bulbs - is another increasingly common sight in the Swedish capital: a "We don't
accept cash" sign.
"We wanted to minimise the risk of robberies and it's quicker with the customers when they pay by card," says Victoria Nilsson, who manages two of the bakery chain's 16 stores
across the city.
"It's been mainly positive reactions. We love to use our cards here in Stockholm."
Across the country, cash is now used in less than 20% of transactions in stores - half the number five years ago, according to the Riksbank, Sweden's central bank.
Smaller retailers are jumping on the bandwagon, too, making use of home-grown technologies such as iZettle, the Swedish start-up behind Europe's first mobile credit card reader.
Such portable technologies have enabled market traders - and even homeless people promoting charity magazines - to take card payments easily.
"I took my kids to the funfair and there was a guy selling balloons and he had a card machine with him," remarks Senobar Johnsen, one of the Swedish customers back at the bakery.
We're still a long way from a cashless society in the U.S. This afternoon I was happy to take a break and go buy some lunch, but when I arrived at my destination I realized
I'd forgotten my wallet. Well, time to try paying with my phone. My bank had given me an app for mobile payments and I was ready to see if it worked. No dice - the place only accepted cards and
cash. I went back home and returned with my wallet and son Tyler, and we bought a nice lunch. With cash. -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
Why Sweden is close to becoming a cashless economy (http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41095004)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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