Payments Report 2024

Are payments in Sweden accessible?

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Access to basic payment services is unsatisfactory

Published: 14 March 2024

Everyone in Sweden shall have access to basic payment services at reasonable prices in accordance with the objective decided by the Riksdag. However, access to these services has deteriorated in recent years and today the objective is not being met. This is largely due to a reduction in the supply of manual payment services, including cash services, by both banks and other payment service providers, as explained in Section Cash is rarely used and the supply of cash services is decreasing.

The County Administrative Board of Dalarna, which coordinates the county administrative boards’ work on basic payment services, writes in its 2023 monitoring report that 15 out of 21 county administrative boards consider that access to basic payment services is unsatisfactory for private persons in general and 9 out of 21 county boards consider that access has deteriorated in 2023. All county administrative boards consider the situation to be unsatisfactory for older people and people with disabilities. This is because these groups use cash more than the rest of the population and their need for personalised services is greater than that of other groups.

Getting help with payments can also be expensive. According to the Swedish Consumers’ Banking and Finance Bureau, a bank customer paying a bill over the counter at a bank branch may have to pay SEK 150 per bill.