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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Sweden is Going Cashless


I was reading an interesting piece on how Sweden is expected to go cashless by 2023. Some interesting snippets from it are below:


This is possible in Sweden because even though cash is a legal tender, contract laws have a higher precedence than banking and payment laws here. If a store puts up a sign that it does not accept cash, then you, as a customer, have entered a contract or an agreement with that store that they don’t accept cash. But in other countries, like Denmark for instance, payment laws have higher precedence than contract laws. In those countries, if something is a legal tender, then according to the law a store must accept it. This is one of the key reasons why Sweden is more cashless than other countries — because of its legal framework.
... in the early 2000s, the central bank decided to outsource its printing and distribution of cash. The central bank said it didn’t see cash as its core business.
Something unique to Sweden was a spate of robberies which resulted in the unions of various organizations like bank employees, bus drivers, cab drivers and others pushing for a cash-free society in order to protect their members. In 2007, in an effort to transform black-market work to white-market work, the government introduced tax deductions for domestic services like home repairs, baby-sitting, laundry and so on. This meant that people did not need to keep cash to pay for these services. It led to a dramatic drop in the need for cash. 
In 2015 to 2017, Sweden replaced its existing notes and coins with new ones. When this happened, cash was deposited into accounts but not all of it was taken out. 

An advantage of a cashless society is that it will be easier to trace criminal activities and we might be able to block some of them. The disadvantage is that everyone can be traced. We will be more traced than we are today. We will lose our privacy.

Read the full article here - http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/going-cashless-can-learn-swedens-experience/

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