How is Sweden doing without cash

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No more cash in Sweden

Just pay for an ice cream or a coffee. No problem with cash. Not even for children and young people. But what if, in the course of digitization, there would be no more cash at some point? Adults have a credit or debit card, young people usually do not. And how relevant is cash today when more and more buying processes are taking place online? Here, too, adults have an advantage through payment services such as PayPal or credit cards. The world seems to be moving on, but is it taking children and young people with it? How do we pay in the future?
The Swedes are way ahead when it comes to digital payments. They want to be the first country to abolish cash by 2023. And in addition to cinnamon rolls and soft ice cream with a chocolate on top, you can already find another Swedish specialty in the shops today: signs saying “Vi tar inte emot kontanter”, we don't take cash or “Vänlingen betala met kort”, please pay by card .
What would be unthinkable in Germany is everyday life in Sweden. Even the smallest amounts of a few cents can be paid there with a card. And why? The retail and banking workers protested. They feel insecure with so much cash around them. An attitude that many Swedes share.

This was preceded by a large number of robberies between 2000 and 2010. Cash is much easier to steal than an account. In addition, provided you have a clear app, you have a much better view of what you are spending your money on. Also a quality that Swedes appreciate. And it's much faster than counting the money at the till and giving change.
And privacy? What about the data that is disclosed in electronic payment transactions? No problem for the Swedes. They smile a little at Germany with their “data tick” and say to themselves: “When I use a smartphone and social media, I'm already screened.” In addition, the Swedes don't culturally know such an isolated privacy as in Germany. Overall, we are more open with one another, also on a business level.

Children and young people in Sweden also pay without cash

But what about children and young people? How can they pay in Sweden? Quite simply with "Swish". This is a platform jointly set up by all Swedish banks. Here you simply pay with your mobile phone. And everyone, no matter how old. So you need a smartphone and a Swedish bank account. The mobile number is linked to the account. So you can easily send money to any of your contacts. In Sweden, for example, people pay at the flea market, in bakeries, for coffee to go. Friends share a bill via Swish, and homeless people also have a Swish number to which you can quickly transfer a few cents.

It remains to be seen whether we Germans will follow in the footsteps of our European neighbors. But it's not just about the ice cream, the coffee or the croissant at the bakery. In our next article we will talk about all the things we buy online.

This article is part of a series of articles, “A World Without Cash”, in which we discuss how children and young people should live in a world without cash.
Here is the second part:Click!
Here is the third part:Click!

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