Payments Report 2024

Payment habits in Sweden

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The mobile phone is becoming more important for all types of payments

Published: 14 March 2024

For many years, physical debit cards have been the most widely used payment method in Sweden. In recent years, mobile payment services have also become popular. For example, the mobile app Swish is now the second most common payment method. Services that integrate cards into mobile phones, such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, are also becoming more common, leading to a slight decrease in the use of physical cards. According to the Riksbank’s survey, eight out of ten have used a debit card in the past month. About the same number have used Swish, while two out of ten have used a card in their mobile phone. You can see this in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Most common to pay by card and Swish

Percentage of respondents who have paid by each payment method over the past 30 days.

Figure: Figure 1. Most common to pay by card and Swish

Note: Several responses were possible.

Download the data from the diagram by clicking on the arrow to the right, above the diagram.

Source: The Riksbank.

The Riksbank’s survey on payment habits also gives the impression that cash has been used more than before. Almost half of the respondents say that they have used cash in the last month, which is an increase of 15 percentage points compared to 2022. At the same time, other data show that the use of cash has rather continued to decline, reflecting the trend we have seen for several years. For example, withdrawals from Bankomat AB’s ATMs decreased in 2023, as you can see in Figure 2, and the amount of cash in circulation decreased by 10 per cent over the same period. Also according to data from the Cash Handling Advisory Board, the use of cash seems to have continued to decline. One possible explanation for the increased use of cash despite other data showing the opposite could be that private persons have used cash buffers that they withdrew after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 (see Many withdrew cash after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine). It is too early, however, to draw any clear conclusions about this development.

Figure 2. Cash withdrawals decreasing over time

Withdrawals and deposits via Bankomat AB’s ATMs and deposit machines, value in SEK per capita and month.

Figure: Figure 2. Cash withdrawals decreasing over time

Note: The figure shows only withdrawals and deposits via Bankomat AB’s ATMs. There are also other operators of ATMs and deposit machines that are not represented in the figure. Withdrawals and deposits via e.g. stores or bank branches are also not represented.