Sweden is often referred to as a cashless society, and a new report from Visa Europe confirms this. Swedes use cards as payment nearly four times more often than the average European, and for lower sums of money, according to this report. But Christina Lind, who is Visa Europe’s Sweden director, foresees that cell phone payment will be the next step.
”The report is based on statistics from our most recent financial statements. We see that Swedes are frequent card users, which may have to do with several things. There’s a high acceptance of cards in Sweden. Since they banned charging fees for credit cards, we have also noticed an increase in the use of them,” she says.

Practically all adult Swedes have a debit card, according to the report, and together they make 4.3 million card payments every day. The average card purchase amounts to 320 SEK ($50), compared to the rest of Europe, where the equivalent number is 435 SEK ($68). This shows that Swedes tend to make purchases more often but for lower sums, in comparison with the European average. Lind points out that many see the use of debit cards as a simple payment method, while the disadvantages are there as well. ”The flip side could be that you don’t physically see money disappearing from your wallet, even though of course there are a variety of aids for this, such as apps.” Lind believes the demand of simplicity will increase as the digital development continues, and that new payment methods will take over. ”Digital wallets will most certainly be introduced on many platforms this year. But mostly, I believe that cell phone payments will be the most common way of paying for something, and this will continue to 2020.”