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News Link • Cashless Society

Will Cash Disappear?

• By Nathaniel Popper

There are few corners of the world where electronic transactions are not growing faster than cash. The consulting firm Capgemini recently estimated that electronic payments will grow about 10.9 percent a year between 2015 and 2020.

But the movement away from cash is happening in very different ways and at varying paces around the world.

Scandinavian countries are already well along the road toward cashless societies. Many banks in Sweden no longer have cash on hand, and consumers can make instant transfers directly from their bank accounts.

In Kenya, the local mobile phone company Safaricom, not the banks or the government, has pushed the envelope. Safaricom created a system, known as M-Pesa, that allows customers to make payments directly from their phones.

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