To measure the social cost of different types of payments, the Riksbank conducts cost studies. The Riksbank collects data from households, companies, the public sector, banks and other payment service providers and then calculates the total cost to society of different payment methods. The last time the Riksbank carried out such a study was in 2009. The study, published in 2012, showed that payments by card and direct debit were more cost-efficient than payments by cash.
The cheaper nature of digital payments is confirmed by a recent cost study by Norges Bank. The study was published in May 2022 and shows that the social cost of a cash payment in Norway is around NOK 19. The social cost of a card payment is comparatively low, around NOK 5.
The Riksbank is now working on a new cost study. This study is similar to the one recently published by Norges Bank and aims to measure the costs to society of different types of payments in Sweden. The study will be published in early 2023.