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(New York Times – 12/06/15) – This tech-forward country, home to the music streaming service Spotify and the maker of the Candy Crush mobile games, has been lured by the innovations that make digital payments easier. It is also a practical matter, as many of the country’s banks no longer accept or dispense cash.
“Cash is so last-century. We don’t want to be behind the times by taking cash while cash is dying out. Everything speaks in favor of a cashless society. It’s a Utopian thought, but we’re very close to it.” – Bjorn Ulvaeus, a former Abba member.
At more than half of the branches of the country’s biggest banks, including SEB, Swedbank, Nordea Bank and others, no cash is kept on hand, nor are cash deposits accepted. They say they are saving a significant amount on security by removing the incentive for bank robberies. Cash machines, which are controlled by a Swedish bank consortium, are being dismantled by the hundreds, especially in rural areas. (Read more …)
On June 21, 2014, a cashless society shopping experiment was conducted in a shopping district in Manchester, England, touted as “the United Kingdom’s first-ever cashless shopping area.” Reviews were mixed from merchants and shoppers alike, although more shoppers liked it for its convenience. One merchant commented: “People were all talking about it. This certainly seems to be the way things are heading,” she said. Read more: Guardian Liberty Voice 062614
CASHLESS SOCIETIES ARE GROWING
“As a country, both from consumer and retail perspectives, we have adopted both chip and pin and contactless quickly,” says Spencer Izard, head of Europe at IDC Retail Insights. In a recent IDC consumer survey a third of UK shoppers used contactless to pay in the last year alone. Read more —
In a 2013 survey, Mastercard analyzed the cashless habits of 33 nations on six continents representing 85% of the global gross domestic product (GDP). Oddly, the U.S. ranked eighth for cashless transactions. Read more …
“The majority of people who use mobile banking want their mobile devices to instantly recognize them through biometric technology rather than ID authentication such as passwords and usernames.” So states a report called “Mobile Identity – The Fusion of Financial Services, Mobile and Identity,” produced by Telstra, an Australian telecommunications and information services company.
“Consumers no longer believe in just the safety of passwords and usernames. “Instead, two-thirds of U.S. consumers think that using biometrics – such as voice, fingerprint, iris and facial recognition – would be more secure and help reduce the risks of fraud.In fact, one in four U.S. consumers would even consider sharing their DNA with their financial institution, if it meant it would make authentication easier and their financial and personal information more secure,” reports Rocky Scopelliti, Global Industry Executive for Banking, Finance & Insurance at Telstra. Read more …
Cashless: the Future of Banking?
The latest estimates suggest that global sales of smartphones has peeked around 500 million. US sales grew from 67 million in 2010 to over 95 million last year. Morgan Stanley Research predicts sales of smartphones will exceed PC sales this year. iPad sales hit 40 million last year, a 342.8 percent growth over 2010 sales! The common denominator: wireless connectivity making online shopping and e-banking the preferred mode of public commerce.
What does this mean to the Future of Retail? It all goes “diginomic.” In an article last April on “The Future of Online Shopping,” Forbes reported that “Shopping online is about to explode. Retailers are reinventing how we’ll shop online in the future.” Scott Thompson, president of PayPal, wrote in a recent blog: “Consumers are increasingly giving up traditional payment methods such as cash and checks and turning to a more modern – and anytime, anywhere – form of payment.” He predicts that “by 2015 digital currency will be accepted everywhere in the U.S. – from your local corner store to Walmart. We will no longer need to carry a wallet.”
~ The Telegraph (London) -By Philip Aldrick, 11 Jan 2010
Steve Perry, executive vice president of Visa Europe, says cash is expensive – a cost on society – and should be replaced by a cashless society. “Cash is expensive,” he says. “We need to be using it less.”
“There are many more efficient ways of making payments than by paper in the 21st century, and the time is ripe for the economy as a whole to reap the benefits of its replacement,” Paul Smee, chief executive of the Payments Council, said.