Payments Report 2022

Payments in stores are rarely made in cash

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The use of cash differs from county to county

Published: 15 December 2022

In this year’s survey, less than 5 per cent of the respondents in Södermanland, Blekinge and Västmanland stated that they paid in cash for their most recent purchase in store. In the counties of Dalarna, Örebro and Gävleborg there are more people who use cash, between 15 and 20 per cent; see Illustration 1.

There are several factors that can influence the amount of cash used in a given region, such as the age of the population, the level of education, the level of income and the availability of ATMs. Often these factors interact with one another and it is therefore difficult to pinpoint a single factor that explains why cash is used more in some regions than in others.

Illustration 1. Cash use, Sweden

The map shows the percentage who said they paid with cash for their last purchase in a physical shop.

Figure: Illustration 1. Cash use, Sweden_Komma.csv

The map shows the percentage who said they paid with cash for their last purchase in a physical shop.

Note. In the counties of Gotland and Blekinge, the results are based on a small sample (22 and 23 survey responses respectively) and should therefore be interpreted with some amount of caution.

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

Source: The Riksbank.

FACT BOX – The Payments Inquiry is extended

The digitalisation of society has led to fewer and fewer people using cash. This was one of the reasons why the Riksbank submitted a proposal to the Riksdag in April 2019 to review the role of the state in the payments market. Among other things, the Riksbank proposed that a committee should investigate whether the Riksbank could issue an e-krona and whether it could be given the status of legal tender.

The Government appointed a commission of inquiry in December 2020. It was originally due to report by 30 November 2022, but the Government has now extended this to 31 March 2023. The reason is that the Inquiry needs more time to analyse the consequences of the closure of Kassagirot (see The closure of Kassagirot affects vulnerable groups). In addition, the European Commission has announced proposals for a digital euro and instant payments, which the Inquiry needs to take into consideration.