Payments Report 2022

The Riksbank gets clearer responsibility for cash

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More needs to be done to ensure that cash can be used in the future

Published: 15 December 2022

With the new Sveriges Riksbank Act and the obligation for certain major credit institutions to provide cash services, the Riksdag has ensured that parts of the cash infrastructure have stronger legal protection. But this is not enough to ensure that cash will be an effective means of payment in the future.

Cash needs stronger legal protection

Since the company ClearOn discontinued its Kassagirot service, there have been very few options for redeeming payment slips and paying bills in cash. If cash is to be used in the future, the right of individuals to pay with it must be protected. The Riksbank believes that it must be possible, at a minimum, to use cash to purchase vital goods and services and that this is best ensured by strengthening its status as legal tender.

The activities of cash-in-transit companies must be maintained

At present, Loomis is the only nationwide cash-in-transit company in Sweden. Both the Riksbank and private banks engage Loomis to provide cash services. This can include, for example, refilling ATMs or handling daily takings. Both the Riksbank and the banks must have a plan for how these services will be maintained in the event that Loomis were to cease operations in all or part of Sweden. At the political level, a decision needs to be made on whether cash transports to and from individual shops should be dependent on a single private operator (see The cash infrastructure is vulnerable).

The banks must take greater responsibility for cash

The Riksbank has long argued that the banks should be obliged by law to accept cash deposits from private individuals. Today, some major credit institutions are obliged to provide cash services but only for cash withdrawals and deposits of daily takings. The banks must also offer manual cash services to help customers who cannot use ATMs or other automated and digital services (see Difficult for many to pay digitally).