What can we learn from Sweden, the ultimate cashless society?

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Demand for notes and coins in Sweden is so limp that cash is literally disappearing: the amount in circulation has fallen 27.5pc in the last four year

The collapse of cash in Britain has been dramatic. There were 11.5 billion fewer cash transactions in 2018 than in 2008 – a decline of 51pc. It’s a pace of change that has surprised everyone, even industry insiders.

“The rise of the debit card and the decline of cash is the phenomenon of the last decade,” says Adrian Buckle, head of research for UK Finance, the banking sector trade body.

But Britain, while on the podium, is not the world champion in cashless. That title goes to Sweden, where demand for notes and coins is so limp that cash is literally disappearing: the amount in circulation has fallen from 80bn kronor (£6.6bn) to Skr58bn (£4.8bn) in the last four years, a reduction of 27.5pc. The same period has seen ATM withdrawals fall by more than half.

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