Fascinating long form article on Sweden where bills and coins represents only 2% of the country's economy vs. 7% in the US. Parishioners text tithes to their churches. Homeless street vendors carry mobile credit-card readers. Even the Abba Museum, despite being a shrine to the 1970s pop group that wrote “Money, Money, Money,” considers cash so last-century that it does not accept bills and coins.
“It might be trendy,” said Bjorn Eriksson, a former director of the Swedish police force and former president of Interpol. “But there are all sorts of risks when a society starts to go cashless.” But advocates like Mr. Ulvaeus cite personal safety as a reason that countries should go cash-free. He switched to using only card and electronic payments after his son’s Stockholm apartment was burglarized twice several years ago. “There was such a feeling of insecurity,” said Mr. Ulvaeus, who carries no cash at all. “It made me think: What would happen if this was a cashless society, and the robbers couldn’t sell what they stole?”