Sweden is on track to becoming the world’s first cashless society, thanks to the country’s embrace of information technology as well as a crackdown on organized crime and terror, according to a new study.
There’s a conspicuous lack of cash on Sweden’s streets.
So ubiquitous are digital payments in the country that attempting a paper money transaction at a Swedish bank might provoke a suspicious stare or a report to the police. That’s according to Niklas Arvidsson, a professor at Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
The country has actually been inching toward a cashless system for many years now. From bus fares to street magazines, digital payments are accepted almost everywhere; the Swedish Federation of Trade also also claims it is “leading the world in cashless trading.”
Niklas Arvidsson, a researcher at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, said that the widespread and growing embrace of the mobile payment system, Swish, is helping hasten the day when Sweden replaces cash altogether.
Arvidsson, who specializes in industrial economics and management, found in a recent study that Sweden is on its way to becoming the world’s first cash-free society. He attributed the disappearance of Swedish banknotes to the country’s embrace of new technologies, the growth of mobile payment systems, and a governmental crackdown on corruption, which helps citizens feel safe about electronic money.
“Our use of cash is small, and it’s disappearing rapidly,” Arvidsson says. Circulation figures from the Riksbank, Sweden’s central bank, back up his assertion.
“And out of that amount, only somewhere between 40 and 60 per cent is actually in regular circulation,” he said.
The rest is socked away in people’s homes and bank deposit boxes, or can be found circulating in the underground economy. The result of collaboration between major Swedish and Danish banks, Swish is a direct payment app that is used for transactions between individuals, in real time.
The service’s direct collaboration with Bankgiro and Sweden’s national bank, Riksbanken, is a critical factor in its success, researchers said. But if Swish starts to be used on a larger scale and grow to include retail transactions and e-commerce, Arvidsson said it is likely the country’s entire payment system infrastructure will have to be revamped.
Arvidsson said Swish is already revolutionising the banking system.
With digital giro systems, early electronic payment services and other advances in online financial services, Swedish banks have been early adopters of advanced IT systems, he said. Besides simplicity and lower costs, digital payments also add transparency to the nation’s payment system.
Several banks in Sweden already have 100 per cent digitalised branches that will simply not accept cash.
“At the offices which do handle banknotes and coins, the customer must explain where the cash comes from, according to the regulations aimed at money laundering and terrorist financing,” he said. In spite of its popularity, Sweden will still have to ensure that all people are able to participate in the new payment system, Arvidsson said.
But data from the European Central Bank indicate that Swedes, while enthusiastic about bank cards and digital payments, still regularly withdraw quite a bit of money from ATMs. Surveys from the Riksbank show that for transactions under 100 kronor, 41% of people still prefer to use cash. And the Swedish National Pensioners’ Organization, which represents some 400,000 of the country’s elderly, says 7% of its members never use bank cards.
The transformation would present serious challenges for those who are unfamiliar with computers and mobile phones — mainly older people living in rural areas.
There’s also the chance that, before Sweden cinches the title as the world’s first cashless society, other countries might get there first.
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“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. ” -Revelation 13:16-17 (KJV).
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not- 2 Peter 2:2-3 (KJV).
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage – 2 Peter 2:19 (KJV).
To eliminate all physical money from the world we would need a system where ONE central bank issues a virtual/digital currency unit for everyone. With all computer systems interconnected, this makes implementing a global economic system easy. The centralized banks would control the currency, mandating everyone to buy or sell using this system. Central Bankers now RULE over the entire planet! This is the plan of the New World Order, and currently, many countries are switching over to a cashless society. The five top nations which are now nearly cashless are: Sweden, Somaliland, Kenya, Canada, and South Korea. All exchanging currency in a cyberspace with virtual currencies.
Essentially, select Central Bankers would administer the monetary affairs of all nations via these virtual/imaginary/digital currency system. Voice activated apps are now available in Sweden and the United States for banking and monetary transfers. Speak and transfer money. Not to mention, ‘mobile money’ – pay by swiping your phone has already become the norm. Apple iPhone and new watch is exactly the gadget that “hooked” everyone on this system.
A cashless society is the trend in motion- How many times have you heard, “We Don’t Take Cash—Cards Only”? Get ready for a Cashless Global Society.
In the Faithful Service of Jesus Christ,