Imagine a collection at your local church. Usually, there’s a basket or bucket that gets passed along the pews and you dump your coins in it.
This scenario is quickly becoming a thing of the past in Sweden. In several on the country’s churches, you slide up to the cash machine in the church, put in your card and transfer the amount you think is right. And Jesus only talked about money lenders not being fit to enter the temple, so I guess it’s a kosher solution. OK, sorry for the religious mix-n-match.
The churches is only one place where Sweden are speeding ahead compared to the rest of Europe in the race towards a cashless economy.
In total, coins and notes only represent three per cent of the Swedish economy, compared to an average of nine per cent in the Eurozone countries.
The next bing leap forward for Sweden will be the introduciton of mobile money. Not as autonomous things roaming the streets, but a money system that will let you pay for things using your mobile phone.
However, the new economy is going to prove a bit of a challenge for some parts of the economy. For example, Swedish muggers will have to start investing in card swipers….