Sweden heads towards being a cashless country

Sweden lays claims to be the most cashless country on earth, with coins and notes used in less than a fifth of transactions as everyone and everything from public transport to homeless people switch to card or mobile payments.

Five years ago, cash still accounted for around 40% of transactions, while today barely 1% of the total value of payments are made in cash.

Various factors are prompting the switch. Union concerns over driver safety prompted cash payments to be banned on Sweden’s buses. Among tourists, a preference for paying by card led major attractions such as Stockholm's Pop House Hotel and The Abba Museum to go cashless. And locals are choosing to go for card over cash as a security measure to counteract robberies.

Central bank figures show the average value of Swedish krona in circulation fell to 65 billion (£6bn) in 2016, from around 106 billion (£10bn) in 2009, the BBC reported.