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News Link • Economy - International

Sweden Is Going To Be The First Country In The World Completely Free Of Cash

• http://www.businessinsider.com

The Local reports Swedes are using electronic payments 260 times per person, per year. Electronic payments systems such as Swish are bypassing the need for people to use ATMs for cash, while at street level, even retailers of Sweden's version of The Big Issue, Situation Stockholm, are accepting card payments.

It's not a Europe-wide trend, either. In Italy, cash is still king, accounting for three-quarters of all purchases.

While going cash-free comes with an increase in security costs, it's more than offset by the drop in cash-handling costs. In Sweden, cash-handling costs are estimated to be around $1.2 billion, or 0.3% of the country's GDP.

And according to the Swedish Bankers' Association, armed robbers are finding themselves out of a job. Just five bank robberies were reported in 2012, Sweden's lowest rate in 30 years.

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