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Sweden Is Making It's Way To Become A Cashless Society
Sweden is making its road to become the first cashless society in the world. Thanks to their high-tech banking and financial technology.
Have you ever heard about Swish?
Swish is an invented app use to make instant payments in Sweden. Just using a smartphone and a number, you can easily transfer money in just a matter of seconds.
The Swish app, along with many other large and smaller-scale innovations, bestowed to the reputation of Sweden to make it a cashless society. And just recently, many stores, cafés, and supermarkets have adopted the new innovations by accepting cashless payments. Customers just need to display the QR codes and directly pay for their goods and orders using their phones.
When did banking innovation in Sweden started?
In July 1967, the first automatic cash machine was inaugurated in Sweden, and that makes them the forefront of banking innovation for a long period. And the improvement and simplified payments system have developed vastly ever since. And probably, the people's trend-sensitivity has a big factor in adopting a cashless trend. Being a country of early adopters makes them want to be the first and try the latest in innovations.
Cashless Swedish lifestyle and their fondness of sharing the bills in the restaurants or bars play a big role in Swish's creation.
According to a professor in Ethnology at Uppsala University - Ella Johansson, she explains how this has something to do with the relation between friendships and resources:
A cashless society is also steered by fintech or Financial Technology. Most fintech companies were founded in Sweden.
Klarna, a payment system established in 2005 that esteemed users over 90 million globally.
Another is iZettle, which requires small cheap card payment terminals. The terminal enables a retailer to make payments by binding it to a dedicated app on a smartphone or tablet.
And the science fiction alike implantation of microchips in Swedish' hands makes the cashless experience more than skin-deep. Over a thousand Swedes have implanted this portable biohacking entity into their lifestyle.
The implanted microchips can store several kinds of data such as ID, door-openings blips, bank cards, and even train tickets are possible to pay by simply waving their hand. They don't need to carry membership cards, bank cards, ID, and even keys around.
Cash payments are mostly used to make small payments and by the elderly. It is much common in shops and cafés to find the sign ‘Card only’ or ‘Cashfree’ than ‘Cash only’ like in several other countries. Many Swedish retailers find it more convenient and they are gaining a good share of their margins via webshops.
Challenges of cashless payments:
Electronic payments are way better to prevent money laundering, corruption, and other criminal activities. But the implantation of microchips would be risky for all the personal data stored, what if it fell in the wrong hands?
The Elderly still prefer to use cash as they find it more convenient than using electronic payments, but young people prefer tech-savvy innovation.
Cashless payments make it very convenient for those habituated to using smartphones, but for those who have an old model phone or no phone at all, this is a real hurdle.
Banking apps and Swish are also continuously growing, with improvements like simplified and integrated services towards a cashless society.
The future is just starting to unfold. One day everyone will be adopting implanted microchips and Sweden is apt to stay at the forefront of future payment innovations.