Payments in Sweden 2020

Cash free – not problem-free

Some groups can find it difficult to pay without cash

Published: 29 October 2020

The less frequent use of cash is due to consumers and companies preferring to use digital payments. However, some groups in society find it difficult to cope without cash. For example, over half of people over 65 state that they are negative towards the decline in cash usage. The Riksbank, politicians and other authorities have therefore taken measures to try to slow the trend towards a cashless society (see Swedish banknotes and coins – the Riksbank's new responsibility for cash handling).

When asked which means of payment they used for their last purchase in a shop, a total of nine per cent said they had used cash. For older people, aged 65 to 84 years, this figure is higher at 13 per cent.

Older people pay in cash more often than others

Percentage of people in each age group paying in cash for their last purchase in a shop.

Figure: Older people pay in cash more often than others

Download the data from the diagram by clicking on the arrow to the right, above the diagram. Source: The Riksbank

People in rural areas also say, to a greater extent, that they would not be able to cope without cash in society as it is at present. The difference between urban and rural areas is great, as 19 percentage points more say they would find it difficult to cope without cash in rural areas, compared with urban areas.

Harder to cope without cash in rural areas

How the population of different regions answered the question "Could you cope without cash the way society looks today?", percentages.

Figure: Harder to cope without cash in rural areas

Rural areas include tightly- and sparsely-populated areas. Download the data from the diagram by clicking on the arrow to the right, above the diagram. Source: The Riksbank