Sweden is touted as becoming the world’s first cashless society, but there are still plenty of cash withdrawals from the country’s 3,000 ATMs.
Despite the push on the cashless society, there are still around 174 Million cash withdrawals at Swedish ATMs each year (Volume) and $24 Billion USD (Value) in cash withdrawals a year. Whilst acknowledging that there has been a slight decreasing trend – consumers clearly do still have an appetite for cash and the ATM and most importantly the central bank is issuing new banknotes and coins later in 2016.
The value of cash, especially for small transactions, is still evident even in the country that is supposed to be the furthest down the road towards a cashless society. The article posits that self-service, financial inclusion, and variations in payments infrastructure all point to a need for cash.
While the payments industry by an large supports a completely cashless society, cash has value to consumers, retailers, and others in the payments world. It may not make sense to abandon it completely.
Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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