Payments in Sweden 2020

Are payments in Sweden efficient?

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The coronavirus pandemic is putting pressure on cash distribution

Published: 29 October 2020

Developments on the payment market have been accelerated by the marked decrease in parts of the trade, tourism, entertainment and restaurant industries caused by the coronavirus pandemic. One clear sign of this is that both the number of ATM withdrawals and the value of these withdrawals fell at the start of the pandemic and then stabilised at a lower level. The decrease in cash use has thus decreased the amount of cash that needs to be transported and the amount of daily takings that need to be deposited. Neither do ATMs need to be refilled as often.

If the decrease in cash usage should turn out to be permanent, this may create problems as it will probably be less profitable for cash-in-transit companies to distribute cash to the same extent as previously. At the same time, however, the larger banks will be legally obliged to offer a certain level of service for cash withdrawals and deposits of daily takings (see Swedish banknotes and coins – the Riksbank's new responsibility for cash handling). This, in turn, could contribute towards stabilising demand for the cash-in-transit companies’ cash services.