Money will dissapear
A society without money in physical form begins to take shape increasingly more, in a country with a high level of technology, in which those who prefer coins or banknotes are increasingly less. Sweden was the first country in Europe to introduce in circulation banknotes, in 1661. Now these are almost not used.
“I do not understand why we have to print bills,” says Bjoern Ulvaeus, former member of pop band ABBA and a very vocal supporter of the idea of giving up cash.
In most cities in Sweden for a bus ticket is no longer accept usual money payments, which are purchased through a simple SMS, according to Business Insider.
A small part of the magazine – and is growing, accept only card payment, and some banks, although dealing with money transactions, are not using cash.
Money in physical form are no longer used even in church. For example, at Carl Gustaf Church in Karlshamn in southern Sweden, the vicar Johan Tyrberg has recently installed an ATM to make it easier for believers to make donations. “People often complain to me that they donate money to the church, but they do not have cash,” says the vicar.
Physical money from Sweden represents only 3% of the economy, compared with 9% and 7% in the euro area and in the U.S.. Three percent is still too much, according to Ulvaeus. To sustain a society without cash may seem a bit odd for someone who made a fortune with hits like “Money, Money, Money“, but Ulvaeus says it is a security issue. After his son was robbed for the third time, he began to support a more rapid transition to a fully digitized society, if it makes life harder for thieves. “If it would be no money in banknotes and coins, thieves would have nothing to steal,” says Ulvaeus (66 years).
Some banks are no longer using physical money
The Association of Banks from Sweden says that removing cash from the economy has already begun to have an impact on the number of offenses. Robberies of banks fell from 110 in 2008 to 16 in 2011, the lowest level in over 30 years. Also, theft from transport vehicles decreased. “Less money in circulation makes you feel safer, for those who work with money and population,” said Par Karlsson, a company security expert.
The use of electronic means of trading explains why Sweden has a very low level of corruption compared with countries that have a strong culture’s of cash money as Italy or Greece, explains Friedrich Schneider, a professor of economics at Johannes Kepler University in Austria. “If people use the card, they are less involved in economic activities in gray,” says Schneider, an expert in the research economy. And still, in a computerized society, there are risks and the biggest the cyber fraud. According to the National Council for Combating Fraud in Sweden, this type of crime has risen to nearly 20,000 in 2011, compared with 3,304 in 2000.
We need to make the tranzition to digital money
Oscar Swartz, founder of the first internet provider in Sweden, says, however, that a digitized economy, will have always issues of privacy, given that all card transactions can be traced. And he supports the idea of giving up cash money, but he likes entering another payment method besides the credit card. “Whoever sends or donate money to different organizations would have to do this without being followed every time,” says Swartz.
Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that Sweden and other Nordic countries are ranked on the first places in terms of technological development and innovation. For the second consecutive year, Sweden took first place in terms of technology, and the Economist Intelligence Unit placed Sweden digitization top economy in 2010. The two rankings measuring the extent to which Member integrate new technologies and communications in national economies.
Many experts, however, do not expect that the money in physical form to disappear anytime soon, but their presence in the economy will continue to be increasingly lower. For example, Andrea Wramfelt, no longer accept cash money in his store from 2010, and says that in more than 20 years, Swedish banknotes and coins will disappear.
There are some opponents of the idea of digital money. Hanna Celik, whose family owns a network of news stores in Stockholm, said that digitization comes only from the desire to enrich banks. Celik says that each card transaction is charged with five crowns (0.80 dollars). “It’s a mess. For banks, this is a good way to earn a lot of money. What this is all about, is to make huge profits from transaction fees “, says Celik.