Scandinavians are done with cash

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Fewer than 10 percent of Norwegians are still using paper currency or coins, which could completely disappear in a decade, according to the local authorities.

Jon Nicolaisen, the deputy governor of Norway’s central bank, has said Norwegian society has become cashless, and that this is very much a present reality rather than a future dream.

“By approximation, I would argue that the present is cashless,” he said at the City Week conference at London’s Guildhall in a discussion on the future of paper currency, chaired by the Bank of England’s chief cashier.

“According to our latest numbers, we have less than 3 percent of broad money in cash. Less than 10 percent of the number of transactions, including buying coffees, are in cash,” he said.

Norway’s chief banker added that the phenomenon has nothing to do with the Bank of Norway’s policy, it’s just the wish of the people. “We have no wish to eliminate cash. It is the public itself that chooses other means of payment,” he said.

Cashlessness is on the rise globally, as more and more people are abandoning paper money. Scandinavia and neighboring Finland have been the leaders in this area.

Sweden is the ‘most cashless nation’, with barely 1 percent of the value of all payments made using coins or notes. For example, the country has banned cash on buses for concerns over drivers’ safety.

“In the not-too-distant future, Sweden may become a society in which cash is no longer generally accepted,” the Swedish central bank has said.

However, not everyone is pleased in Scandinavia about the cashless system. In Sweden, there is a movement called Kontantupproret (the cash insurgency), which demands that people should decide what form of money to use, not just banks and businesses.

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