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Sweden May Soon Be The World’s First Cashless Nation

With the help of technology, Sweden is on its way to becoming the world’s first cashless society.

Researchers from Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology attribute this impending change to the country’s embrace of IT, as well as a crackdown on organized crime and terror, The Business Insider reported.

Niklas Arvidsson, an industrial technology and management researcher at KTH, says that the widespread and growing embrace of the mobile payment system, Swish, is helping hasten the day when Sweden replaces cash altogether.

“Cash is still an important means of payment in many countries‘ markets, but that no longer applies here in Sweden,” Arvidsson said. “Our use of cash is small, and it’s decreasing rapidly.”

In a country where bank cards are routinely used for even the smallest purchases, there are less than 80 billion Swedish crowns in circulation (about EUR8 billion), a sharp decline from just six years ago, when the total in circulation was SEK106 billion.

“And out of that amount, only somewhere between 40 and 60 percent is actually in regular circulation,” Arvidsson said.

The rest is socked away in people’s homes and bank deposit boxes, or can be found circulating in the underground economy.