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Cashless: a dead end for sweden?

Chapter in book
Authors Björn Eriksson
U. Sandhill
Published in Digital Transformation and Public Services. Societal Impacts in Sweden and Beyond. Anthony Larsson, Robin Teigland (red.)
Pages 235-242
ISBN 9781000690644
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 235-242
Language en
Subject categories Information technology, Economics and Business


The payment market in Sweden is undergoing a digital revolution that few could have anticipated just a few decades ago. Cash services in banks across the country are quickly disappearing. The idea that Sweden will eventually become cashless has taken root on many fronts, including private individuals, businesses, and public organizations. Abroad, Sweden is often held up as a model for the move toward the cash-free society as a “success story” in cutting costs and reducing crime. However, critical voices are becoming louder and more frequent, raising questions such as: “Who benefits from this development besides the big banks?”, “What will the consequences be when physical money no longer is an option?”, “What can be said about citizen integrity and the increasing vulnerability of society?”, and “What will happen with the people not included in the digital world?” The chapter concludes that the digitalization process and the removal of currency in its physical form from society create a shift in the balance of power from both individuals and from the welfare services provided by the state to global, private actors. As this unwanted effect becomes increasingly apparent both for individuals and for governmental institutions, the government seems to have shifted its awareness and now realizes that it has underestimated the need for an analog payment system besides the digital options. The authors of this chapter are Björn Eriksson, initiator of the cash-preservation initiative “the Cash Rebellion” (Swe: “Kontantupproret)” (Kontantupproret, 2018), former savings banker, National Police Commissioner, and President of Interpol, and Ulrika Sandhill, social commentator and business partner. The authors have long been following the development of the cash issue in Sweden together. © 2020 selection and editorial matter, Anthony Larsson and Robin Teigland.

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