Sweden's Cashless Experiment: Is It Too Much Too Fast?

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Support for this NPR podcast and the following message. Come from the UPS store, offering services from shredding to printing to mailbox ING and instead of closing this holiday. The UPS store is doing another ING altogether. Opening the UPS store every ING for small business. And of course, shipping cash maybe king, but there are more ways to buy and sell and store our money than ever before. We're looking at what's beyond cash in this month's all tech considered. For a glimpse of what the US economy might look like in the future we head to Scandinavia. No country is dropping cash as fast as Sweden. Just thirteen percent of people there reported using cash to buy something last year. But as Mattie savage reports from Stockholm some Swedes or concern that things have changed too quickly next to the cinnamon buns and open sandwiches at this restaurant has launched new sign with the English word cash. Cross doubt notes and coins stopped being accepted here a year ago off staff noticed most people will be using them. Superiour bites. Eight five percent something like that. And the restaurant was using cash. That's general manager Christopher Lert who's been keeping an eye on. How customers have responded probably been any reaction almost everybody has felt tentative payment method. And it's good for both the guests. He says scrapping cash saves time at the till and helps protect against theft. That's been a worry for many Swedish businesses since a string of high profile robberies in the early two thousands as strong digital infrastructure, and a small tech savvy population have also encouraged the cashless trend here, but there are growing concerns. Not everyone is benefiting. I'm interested not to obey. I'm the president of the national pensioners organization. I'm seventy five years so in Sweden. There are about one million inhabitants of ten millions. Who are not familiar to use the dictator way, she says the majority of this group are over sixty-five. But it also includes people with certain disabilities and newly arrived refugees Jimmy did in many ways for restaurants shops, would you are going to park your car, then you should all. Zeus app or a card. So that's making a lot of difficulties. She says even going to public toilets can pose a problem. They often cost ten kroner, which must be paid by card. Another concern is that most banks have stopped letting people take out or pay in cash over the counter Sweden's central Bank. The Rix Bank has been pushing local branches to keep notes and coins in circulation. Hello. Signal will come to the Rix Bank. We would like to see the banks continuing supplying their customers with cash services getting Sweden thought things were going to go. This quick. I think most of us has been taken by surprise by the speed of this development. Most counties are pushing digital technology, and if you are successful, this will how consequential for cash the security of digital payments is another issue for the authorities but Klay Ingram bogus post doctoral researcher at Stockholm school of economics says that in general sweets, have very high levels of trust in banks and institutions ordinary Swedes are not concerned tall, the convenience of having your Bank account your money at your fingertips and increasing the on on your smart watch vastly outweighs any concerns that they have about security or about being tracked back. At Irvine deli restaurant. The copies haven't stopped flowing all day. Most of the customers here in that twenties thirties, and it is hard to find anyone with major worries about the cashless trend a hassle free love to use digital taxi apps. Like Uber don't have to hassle with Kathy. That's blumquist another customer Fabian, est. N says he would even support a future notes and coins and phased out completely nor you still more. So it's just easier to just get rid of it. But even in this innovative country. It seems most Swedes on not ready for a completely cashless future. A nationwide poll says seven and ten still want cash to stick around for now. For MBA news. I'm Maddie savage in Stockholm. This message comes from NPR sponsor Comcast business. Business has always been driven by innovators. That's why Comcast business is helping you with technology that provides better experiences. Comcast business beyond fast.

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