There is no doubt that Sweden has a long history and tradition of being innovators and early adopters of new technology ever since they became the first country in the world to issue ban notes way back in 1661 at a time when most did not understand the importance of fiat currency.
Now, the Swedes have set their sights on something far more adventurous as they aim to become the first nation to go cashless. Yep. That’s right, as per reports, from March 2023, paper money will no longer be an acceptable form of transaction in Sweden.
This revolutionary change hasn’t happened overnight however , and is the product of a collective drive to grow as a society, as majority of Swedish people are already less and less dependent on traditional paper money and instead prefer electronic alternatives such as chip based credit and debit cards.
This process also sped up when in 2012, the six largest banks of the country teamed up to create one digital platform called Swish where making payments and transactions was made much easier.
Although some might say that this leaves people with no other choice, the Swedish people have been quick to embrace this collaboration and Swish was downloaded around 226,000 times in a mere three weeks of it’s launch. There are already very few establishments left in the country that accept cash and this is projected to be obsolete by 2023.
From the fact that more and more businesses have adopted a “No Cash Payment In This Store” policy to the decision by Stockholm’s public transport to go cashless, it is quite inspiring how the people are not only adopting but embracing this idea of a virtual economy.
There are decided benefits to this move towards a cashless existence as it can help curb crime ranging from pick pocketing to drugs and counterfeiting. Not only do consumers feel safer but so do establishments that have far more secure ways to store their monetary assets.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this monumental decision is the fact that this move was not necessarily a state level decision, nor was it ordained through any legislation but was rather a social and technological shift by the citizens and the corporations of the nation.
The next step to ensure that this 2023 vision is implemented is the introduction of the e-Krona. A Swedish digital currency that is being backed by their Central Bank and will be in pilot mode this year and will be in circulation by 2021.