Payments Report 2022

Are payments in Sweden safe?

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The cash infrastructure is vulnerable

Published: 15 December 2022

Today, the underlying cash infrastructure is based on cooperation between the Riksbank, the banks and the cash-in-transit companies. In somewhat simplified terms, it works as follows. The Riksbank manufactures cash, destroys worn-out cash and keeps stocks where banks can withdraw and deposit cash.

Banks interact with the public and are responsible for ensuring that they can withdraw cash from their accounts and that businesses can deposit cash into their accounts. In general, banks do this through the company Bankomat AB.

The cash-in-transit companies work on behalf of the Riksbank, banks, shops and other companies. They sort, count, register and transport cash. Of all those involved in this chain, only the Riksbank and the banks have any statutory responsibility for their
areas. That responsibility includes the services they buy from cash-in-transit companies.

In November, the Riksdag adopted a new Sveriges Riksbank Act that will enter into force in January 2023. This means that the current cash infrastructure will change (see The Riksbank gets clearer responsibility for cash).


Illustration 2. The cash infrastructure in Sweden

The image shows how cash is distributed from the Riksbank to ATMs. Then cash circulates between 1. Bank/automated machines 2. Value companies that transport cash 3. Trade 4. The general public


Since 2020, Loomis is the only nationwide cash-in-transit company in Sweden. The entire cash distribution chain is therefore highly dependent on this company. Although the Riksbank and the banks are responsible for some of the services Loomis provides, there would be a risk of disruption in the distribution of cash if, for example, Loomis were to decide to cease all or part of their operations in Sweden for reasons of profitability. There is also a risk of interruption to cash distribution should there be a disruption in their operations (see More needs to be done to ensure that cash can be used in the future).

The cash infrastructure is also dependent on the digital infrastructure. All withdrawal and deposit services require electricity and data communications. In addition, cash withdrawals almost always require a working card.