European Nations Such As Sweden And Denmark Are ‘Eradicating Cash’

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Did you know that 95 percent of all retail sales in Sweden are cashless?  And did you know that the government of Denmark has a stated goal of “eradicating cash” by the year 2030?  All over the world, we are seeing a relentless march toward a cashless society, and nowhere is this more true than in northern Europe.  In Sweden, hundreds of bank branches no longer accept or dispense cash, and thousands of ATM machines have been permanently removed.  At this point, bills and coins only account for just 2 percent of the Swedish economy, and many stores no longer take cash at all.  The notion of a truly “cashless society” was once considered to be science fiction, but now we are being told that it is “inevitable”, and authorities insist that it will enable them to thwart criminals, terrorists, drug runners, money launderers and tax evaders.  But what will we give up in the process?

In Sweden, the transition to a cashless society is being enthusiastically embraced.  The following is an excerpt from a New York Times article that was published on Saturday…

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.

Few places are tilting toward a cashless future as quickly as Sweden, which has become hooked on the convenience of paying by app and plastic.

To me, giving money in church electronically seems so bizarre.  But it is starting to happen here in the United States, and in Sweden some churches collect most of their tithes and offerings this way

During a recent Sunday service, the church’s bank account number was projected onto a large screen. Worshipers pulled out cellphones and tithed through an app called Swish, a payment system set up by Sweden’s biggest banks that is fast becoming a rival to cards.

Other congregants lined up at a special “Kollektomat” card machine, where they could transfer funds to various church operations. Last year, out of 20 million kronor in tithes collected,more than 85 percent came in by card or digital payment.

And of course it isn’t just Sweden that is rapidly transitioning to a cashless society.  Over in Denmark, government officials have a goal “to completely do away with paper money” by the year 2030

Sweden is not the only country interested in eradicating cash. Its neighbor, Denmark, is also making great strides to lessen the circulation of banknotes in the country.

Two decades ago, roughly 80 percent of Danish citizens relied on hard cash while shopping. Fast forward to today, that figure has dropped dramatically to 25 percent.

We’re interested in getting rid of cash,” said Matas IT Director Thomas Grane. “The handling, security and everything else is expensive; so, definitely we want to push digital payments, and that’s of course why we introduced mobile payments to help this process.”

Eventually, establishments may soon have the right to reject cash- a practice that is common in Sweden. Government officials have set a 2030 deadline to completely do away with paper money.

Could you imagine a world where you couldn’t use cash for anything?

This is the direction things are going – especially in Europe.

As I have written about previously, cash transactions of more than 2,500 euros have already been banned in Spain, and France and Italy have both banned all cash transactions of more than 1,000 euros.

Little by little, cash is being eradicated, and what we have seen so far is just the beginning.  417 billion cashless transactions were conducted in 2014, and the final number for 2015 is projected to be much higher.

Banks like this change, because it enables them to make more money due to the fees that they collect from credit cards and debit cards.  And governments like this change because electronic payments enable them to watch, track and monitor what we are all doing much more easily.

These days, very rarely does anyone object to what is happening.  Instead, most of us just seem to accept that this change is “inevitable”, and we are being assured that it will be for the better.  And no matter where in the world you go, the propaganda seems to be the same.  For example, the following comes from an Australian news source

AND so we prepare to turn the page to fresh year — 2016, a watershed year in which Australia will accelerate towards becoming a genuine cashless society.

The cashless society will be a new world free of $1 and $2 coins, or $5 or $10 bank notes. A new world in which all commercial transactions, from buying an i-pad or a hamburger to playing the poker machines, purchasing a newspaper, paying household bills or picking up the dry-cleaning, will be paid for electronically.

And in that same article the readers are told that Australia will likely be “a fully cashless society” by 2022…

Research by Westpac Bank predicts Australia will be a fully cashless society by 2022 — just six years away. Already half of all commercial payments are now made electronically.

Even in some of the poorest areas on the entire globe we are seeing a move toward a cashless society.  In 2015, banks in India made major progress on this front, and income tax rebates are being considered by the government as an incentive “to encourage people to move away from cash transactions“.

Would a truly cashless society reduce crime and make all of our lives much more efficient?


But what would we have to give up?

To me, America is supposed to be a place where we can go where we want and do what we want without the government constantly monitoring us.  If people choose to use cashless forms of payment that is one thing, but if we are all required to go to such a system I fear that it could result in the loss of tremendous amounts of freedom and liberty.

And it is all too easy to imagine a world where a government-sponsored form of “identification” would be required to use any form of electronic payment.  This would give the government complete control over who could use “the system” and who could not.  The potential for various forms of coercion and tyranny in such a scenario is obvious.

What would you do if you could not buy, sell, get a job or open a bank account without proper “identification” someday?  What you simply give in to whatever the government was demanding of you at the time even if it went against your fundamental beliefs?

That is certainly something to think about.

Many will cheer as the world makes a rapid transition to a cashless society, but I will not.  I believe that a truly cashless system would open the door for great evil, and I don’t want any part of it.

What about you?

Would you welcome a cashless society?

  • wrubles

    I use digital money quite often, because of the convenience. However, forcing citizens to go completely digital for all monetary transactions dovetails exquisitely with a total surveillance society and government. I cannot believe how complacent the “citizenry” seems to be …. what remains of a thinking, questioning, participating citizenry. IF I had a vote it would be NO.

  • herbdavis

    A dual system as we have today gives me the freedom to choose and I hope people don’t cave in to this intrusion on our freedoms.Imagine if the federal reserve declares negative interest(they reduce your holdings)on your account. Ask anyone who has had an account held up by the courts or a bank…how much freedom do you want to give up?

  • Aquifer

    Well, you do have a vote – choose legislators that say NO to this …

  • Interesting information. I rarely carry cash and find digital transactions way more convenient — and, so far, more safe, since I’m protected if there’s a fraudulent charge on my credit card. I don’t, however, think cash should be eliminated nor that we should be forced to go cashless.

    I do feel compelled to point out that the author of this piece, Michael Snyder, is an evangelical Christian — which, fine, his business — but that his website is loaded with all kinds of fervent hooey about “evidence” for Biblical predications and other nonsense. Just makes it a bit harder for me to take him seriously.

  • Who’s saying no? Who will say no? Not many.

  • Aquifer

    “Convenience” and “efficiency” – 2 of the major traps that we have fallen into that have slowly but surely led us into the mess we have …

    Convenient and efficient for whom, one might well ask … for the banks and the government – i mean seriously, if one doesn’t want to use cash – what’s wrong with checks? Too much “trouble” to write them out? I use cash for some things, checks for most – I hate cc, use them only when i really have to ….

    We perpetually complain about the power that BB and the gov’t have over us, but we are the ones who have freely welcomed them in the front door through the various Trojan horses of plastic money and electronic communication …. Whassa matta us?

  • mwildfire

    Well sure, the whole 666 thing dovetails into this, but if governments are actually pushing toward a cashless set-up, then it is a real concern. Cash in a necessary transitional thing for those opting out of the ratrace and into a cooperative, localized way of life, a response I expect to grow rapidly. Black markets are an important component, and rely upon anonymous cash.

  • If this country really does try to push this thing, I can see local economies and local currencies popping up. They’re already starting to. Of course they’re still pegged to the dollar — BNotes in Baltimore, for instance — but once you buy them, you can use them as cash. So you still have an anonymizing feature.

  • mwildfire

    Except that, since keeping track of and controlling everyone is a key motive for abolishing cash, they would make local currencies illegal. Probably highly illegal…

  • I don’t know if that would come to pass. It’s one thing to forgo cash, quite another to outlaw it. As obnoxious and intrusive as the surveillance state in this country is, I still don’t see that happening.

  • Eradicating cash doesn’t appear quite practical, specially for people that live in remote area’s, so whom might be the real beneficiaries of this totalitarian idea, say no more, the financial elite are out to ruin us little people.

  • Aquifer

    Unless we make it clear that those who don’t won’t get our vote …

  • Aquifer

    Except that that is what appears to be happening in Sweden and Denmark …

  • George Evans

    the frightening part of this whole idea is that without a ” real ” means of exchange the potential for real people to be effectively non-persons is huge…
    in, say, the war on terror ( so beloved of the yanks) the State could declare anybody a non-person…even his family. if it suited….

    the present system based on fiat money is terrible…but this is far more dangerous….

  • rgaura

    What a laugh! In the current system wherein the big banks are the ones laundering drug money, the gun running profits, and dozens of fraudulent schemes, moving to digital monetary transactions is not going to prevent crime! It will only further enable the criminals to control and surveil the population. Brilliant!

  • tsyganka

    Yes; white collar crime will increase even above its current level of corruption, and corporations (which includes the gang-banksters) will gain even more fascist control over the govt and all aspects of life.

  • tsyganka

    We already must rely on local enterprises when we want to buy organic food that, unlike GMOs, doesn’t poison us. The corporations are solidly against local enterprise.

  • tsyganka

    As ALL purchases would be tracked, it’s one of those “no crime undetected, no crime unpunished” situations. As we already know, “crimes” are often arbitrarily determined and laws against them are arbitrarily enforced. The rich, e.g., get away with crimes that the poor are killed for; and per the treasonous (un)patriot act, jaywalking can be ‘terrorism,’ if someone doesn’t like you.

  • tsyganka

    I hear that. It seems that evangelical Christians really like promoting doom & gloom rather than any positive solutions for taking care of our earth and (socioeconomically) our families.

    I oppose the cashless society and the infamous implanted ‘mark-of-the-beast’ chip, however. 1) Using cards makes it extremely easy to be perpetually tracked for purchases that are None of the govt’s business. 2) In pets, RFID chips migrate from the implantation site and cause hemorrhages and cancer.

  • tsyganka

    I tried. Unfortunately, we still use count-fraud Diebolds in my district.

  • tsyganka

    “Whassa matta us?” LOL. If I knew and could correct it, we’d have a utopia! Heh. – I think you nailed it, though, with citing the traps of “convenience and efficiency.”

  • George Evans

    quite right…

    additionally, authorities could bar access to “the system”…effectively making people non-citizens…

  • Aquifer

    How many others tried?

  • mwildfire

    In the US, one must be part of the USDA Organic system to use the word organic, and much of that is NOT local–there are farms in California growing acres and acres of lettuce or broccoli, and shipping it all over the country. I prefer to buy local food in my farmers’ market, even if it isn’t inspected…but I also grow about half of the food my household eats myself. Now THERE is some truly local food. Between resource depletion, climate change, and other crises, I expect we will need to quadruple the number of farmers and increase ten-fold the number of farm workers within a couple of decades. This will increase the price of food, improve its quality, and reduce unemployment. I expect more and more people to move out of the category of those who get their living from one full time job, as these disappear and more people survive by a combination of growing their own, local barter, part-time and temporary work, selling something they grow, cook or make, doing a local service (including people with skills but without licenses doing work illegally)–and the faster this transition happens the better. International trade should not be expanded but should rapidly shrink, as it contributes greatly to climate change and other harms. The Chinese should not be making the world’s shoes and toys–they should be doing the work that feeds and supplies the Chinese people.

  • eldwdubu

    This is a bad move, now corporate owned government can control where you spend your money and monitor where you spend. This is not a great idea, this is bad news, nothing good about it.