Sweden is serious about becoming a cashless society. How serious? Even the Abba Museum no longer accepts cash. Now that is serious.
Some researchers are predicting that cash there will be a “very marginal payment form” by 2020. Things are definitely trending in that direction. According to this BBC report, less than 20 percent of retailers now use cash. That’s half what it was just five years ago. Everywhere from public transit to tourist attractions — yes, even the Abba Museum — have also gone cashless. Since the government and banking officials announced their plans to reduce bank notes and coins in 2010, the circulation of Swedish krona has fallen by 40 percent.
Many believe that Sweden has succeeded in going cashless so quick because of its connected infrastructure, smaller population (10 million) and a higher level of trust by the people in the country’s banking system. A concern is whether this significant reduction in cash transactions will be a problem for the country’s small business owners. For some, it will be. But most seem to be adapting just fine.