Swedish Society Resisting Cashless Systems

As the world is moving rapidly towards technological advancements, some people are struggling to adapt to these changes. Specifically, the change from hard cash to card and digital payments is what is concerning people in rapidly advancing societies.

The main concern lies with the elderly who find it challenging to adapt to new systems and let go of more traditional ones. Their reliance on banks to be able to manage their financial assets has become a convenience, outweighing the advantages of mobile and card payments.

Today, only one fourth of residents in Sweden use cash at least once a week. This resulted in the recent boom in mobile and card payments, specifically in the retail industry, bringing an immense drop of cash transactions from 40% in 2015 to 15% today.

While Sweden’s haste to adopt digital payments has seen global appraisal, there are elevated concerns regarding the pace of change. These concerns are mostly held with the elderly, who do not necessarily oppose the concept of cashless societies, but they simply challenge the pace at which society is changing.

According to the BBC, a spokesperson of the Swedish National Pensioners’ Organization claims that as long as people have the right to make cash payments, they believe that cash payments should be an option no matter the purchase.

The struggle with this belief is that pensioners will be left feeling even more excluded from society as the majority of Sweden’s residents are opting to move towards a cashless society.

As banks have stopped accepting cheques many years ago and have increased the fees of in-bank transfers. Evidently, this is restricting the freedom of managing financial assets with people who are not acquainted with modern technology.

A solution to this, which has been widely discussed amongst the elderly in Sweden, is offering digital training for people who do not know how to use devices and their applications. They suggest that this training could come from the banks or from state funding in order to assist the community adapt to these rapid societal changes.

Swedish society has a divided approach to cashless societies. Some claiming that cash is of no use now and is outdated, and others say that keeping both cash and online payments as an option is ideal.

The backlash towards rapidly approaching cashless society mostly stems from people who do not understand how to use modern devices and their applications, and doubts regarding internet safety and privacy.

It is significant to include all people within a society when technological advancements change the way people conduct their daily activities - so as to keep a society informed and united - ensuring the survivability and success of industries and of a nation’s economy.