Payments in Sweden 2019

Key drivers and trends

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Broadband and mobile phones enable new solutions

Published: 7 November 2019

Via the internet, smartphones and other information technology (IT), digitalisation has changed our way of working, communicating and shopping. The payment market and the way we pay are also undergoing major change to meet the new needs. This trend has been going on for some time, but in recent years has been given extra impetus from the expansion of mobile broadband and the proliferation of smartphones.

Mobile broadband is now available in all densely populated areas and in most rural areas in Sweden, while 90 per cent of the population over the age of twelve now have a smartphone. Mobile broadband and the proliferation of smartphones have opened the door for payment solutions that make it easier to pay electronically in many places where it was not previously possible. However, there are still areas with poorer coverage and payment apps that cannot be installed on older smartphones. Special attachments that turn a mobile phone into a card reader have been available for a number of years. This has made card readers cheaper and means that they no longer require a specific physical location. As a result, new categories of traders, for example market traders or private individuals, can now receive card payments through their mobile phone. Another payment solution that enables electronic payments in new places and in new contexts is the bank-owned payment app Swish. Swish makes it possible to make instant account-to-account transfers from a mobile phone without using a payment card or logging on to an online bank. The company has also launched new services for payments in shops and for eCommerce in recent years.