I read in the paper yesterday that Sweden has taken over from the USA in terms of cash free payments. Plastic prevails in this country as does the mobile payment technology called ‘Swish’. With a simple transfer, Swedes can send money to each other via their phones. All that’s needed is a bank account, a bank ID and, of course, a mobile.
Shop after shop is putting up signs saying ‘we do not accept cash – only card and Swish’. I have to wonder if this is legal, as coins and notes are still actually legal means of payment. Do they have the right to refuse?
Sweden’s cash free society really hit home with me this morning. Sitting on the tube on the way into work, a beggar got into my carriage.
He stood in the middle of the aisle and presented a plea for the money he needed to buy food. Nobody looked at him, everybody looked at their cell phones.
In response to this, the beggar said, ‘if you prefer not to give me cash, I take Swish!’