Payments in Sweden 2020

Swedish banknotes and coins – the Riksbank's new responsibility for cash handling

Dialogue on future cash handling

Published: 29 October 2020

The Riksbank has opened a dialogue with relevant parties in the cash supply chain to discuss the form of future cash distribution and which allocation of roles between the Riksbank and other actors would be appropriate. These discussions have recently been initiated and the ambition is to have a solution in place well before the new Sveriges Riksbank Act is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2023. This solution will also contribute towards creating greater stability in cash distribution so that unexpected external events, such as the coronavirus pandemic, affect the external parts of the cash supply chain to a lesser extent.

The Riksbank Committee expects the Riksbank's increased responsibility for depot operations to lead to more generous terms and lower fees, which could contribute to fees for daily-takings services and petty cash becoming lower for shops and other companies accepting cash payments. However, the Riksbank lacks any possibility of ensuring that this really is the case and neither is it proposed that the Riksbank be given any tools to affect pricing. Nevertheless, the Riksbank will monitor the issue within the framework of the monitoring and analysis assignments that the Riksbank expects to be given under the new Sveriges Riksbank Act.

Even if the banks and the Riksbank are given expanded responsibility for withdrawal services and deposits of daily takings, as well as depot operations, it is likely that increasing numbers of shops, hotels and restaurants will stop accepting cash in future. The Riksbank therefore sees a risk that the position of cash, in practice, may come to be weakened further if it becomes more and more difficult to use it to make payments. The Riksbank has therefore proposed that a binding obligation to accept cash should be applied to some operations at least, such as pharmacies. The Riksbank also considers that the banks should be set a minimum requirement for the provision of manual cash services to the general public.