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Digital Government The Almighty Buck

Sweden Tries To Halt Its March To Total Cashlessness (bloomberg.com) 329

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: A key committee of Swedish lawmakers wants to force the country's biggest banks to handle cash in an effort to halt the nation's march toward complete cashlessness. Parliament's Riksbank committee, which is in the process of reviewing the central bank law, proposed making it mandatory for banks to offer cash withdrawals and handle daily receipts. The requirement would apply to banks that provide checking accounts and have more than 70 billion kronor ($8 billion) in deposits from the Swedish public, according to a report.

The lawmakers said there needs to be "reasonable access to those services in all of Sweden," and that 99 percent of Swedes should have a maximum distance of 25 kilometers (16 miles) to the nearest cash withdrawal. The requirement doesn't state how banks should offer those services, and lenders can choose whether to use a third party, machines or over-the-counter services. The move is a response to Sweden's rapid transformation as it becomes one of the most cashless societies in the world. That's led to concerns that some people are finding it increasingly difficult to cope without access to mobile phones or bank cards. There are also fears around what would happen if the digital payments systems suddenly crashed.

Sweden Tries To Halt Its March To Total Cashlessness

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  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Monday June 11, 2018 @09:26PM (#56769302)

    Less than month ago Sweden told its people to prepare for disasters, including possible war with Russia [globalnews.ca]. One of the first thing the Ruskies will do is cyber attacks on infrastructure, which includes the financial system.

    • by dave420 ( 699308 )

      Followed, very quickly, by a full military attack, at which point popping down the shops for some haribos and milk is probably off the cards.

  • by gawdonblue ( 996454 ) on Monday June 11, 2018 @09:32PM (#56769330)

    The leading (near monopoly) Swedish cashless app just got sold to foreigners. Very much time to revert to cash if you don't want your economy held to ransom by incremental fee increases.

  • Dear BeauHD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Monday June 11, 2018 @09:58PM (#56769408) Homepage

    Please google Digital Equipment Corporation.

  • by AndyKron ( 937105 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2018 @04:28AM (#56770454)
    And what about people snooping in on your purchases?
  • I rather of like the idea that if one day I found myself in a ditch with nothing but the shirt on my back that I could actually rebuild my life. That is, wander about a bit and find some casual work on a farm, building site or some such and collect some cash* at the end of the day. Then spend said cash to get some sort of accommodation and food.

    I understand the farmer could pop down the local convenience shop and get a pre-paid card for me to pay me, but realistically, they won't as it's not worth their whi

    • by davek ( 18465 )

      You sound like me about 20 years ago.

      The space under Pont Neuf is surprisingly comfortable, if you can convince the local Romani to let you stay there.

  • by ytene ( 4376651 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2018 @09:02AM (#56771210)
    Let's not forget, actual physical cash is essential, in a modern society, as back-stops to underpin two of the things we tell eachother we value: privacy and freedom.

    Without cash, we are forced to compromise our privacy. Want to buy a birthday gift for a loved one that cannot be traced? Want to make a donation to a cause you care about, but do so anonymously? What to give something to that homeless person so they can get a hot meal? You need cash for all of these things.

    Without cash, we are forced to compromise our freedom. [ And yes, I know this is a large chunk of "The Net", but it doesn't make it less true]. Want to be able to function in the face of a technological meltdown at your bank? [ Just look at what has just been happening to TSB customers in the UK recently ].

    Any attempt to take away cash is an attempt to take away both privacy and freedom. It is the beginning of a slippery slope that leads to a very dark place indeed...
  • Why the DEC logo? (Score:4, Informative)

    by menkhaura ( 103150 ) <espinafre@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 12, 2018 @11:37AM (#56772012) Homepage Journal

    Millenials these days... The "DIGITAL" logo atop the story is the logo of a corporation called DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), who made PDPs and VAXen computers, and Alpha processors. Get off my lawn, and get your history straight!

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