Until recently cash was on its way to becoming obsolete in Sweden. According to the Riksbank Payment patterns in Sweden report the number of Swedes using cash as means of payment “in the past month” has declined from 85% in 2014 to 60% in 2018. Amongst the 18-24 age group the percentage is around 45%. Incredibly, up to 4,000 Swedes have implanted microchips in their hands, allowing them to pay for rail travel and food, or enter keyless offices.
It is argued that cash is the fuel for money laundering and tax evasion, so governments encourage people to go cashless. But going cashless leaves many in society at a disadvantage.
However, according to the Sunday Times, the country that pioneered the cashless society is having second thoughts. What would happen if a foreign power decided to cyber bomb the payment system? In the UK we have already seen attacks on the National Health Service and various banks.
The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency is now advising people to hold a reserve of cash in their homes in case of a cyber attack.
The banks want people to use digital payments and it is noticeable that with bank branch closures and the removal of ATMs obtaining cash is getting that bit harder.