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E-Money Cuts Crimes And Costs.... In Sweden

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Stockholm’s street magazine vendors no longer need to ask if passers-by can spare some change anymore – they take cards instead.

In the most cashless society on the planet, sellers of Sweden’s answer to the Big Issue have been equipped with portable card readers to accept virtual payments.

“More and more sellers were telling us that people wanted a copy of the magazine but weren’t carrying cash,” says Pia Stolt of Situation Stockholm, the street paper sold by homeless vendors in Sweden’s capital. “It got to the point where we had to do something, so we worked with Stockholm-based mobile payments company iZettle and came up with a way to sell the magazine electronically.

“We didn’t know how it would turn out, or whether people would be reluctant to give their credit card information to a homeless person,” says Stolt, “but the results have been great – vendors’ sales are up 59%.”

“Swedes are pretty trusting and we’re used to embracing new technology so this was the perfect solution,” says Stolt. “The cashless society campaign we’re seeing in Sweden is definitely a good move as far as we are concerned – it’s unstoppable.”

The country’s highest-profile cash-free campaigner is Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus. After his son was robbed several years ago, Ulvaeus became an evangelist for the electronic payment movement, claiming that cash was the primary cause of crime and that “all activity in the black economy requires cash”.

It's certainly great for the tax authorities as everything will have an electronic audit trail.

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It's certainly great for the tax authorities as everything will have an electronic audit trail.

to be fair, having a pre-paid top-up card for bus,train or taxi travel is not that big a deal

but,as you rightly point out,I do not want every aspect of my life micro-managed.

should be viewed as an alternative, not a replacement in my view.

Edited by oracle

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Does anyone know how much it costs to run the physical cash network?

no, but if they are serious about getting rid of cash, then obviously there are going to be terrorists painting coins with ebola.

how many times does the average coin change hands?

think about that as a battle plan.

i)mad mullah/biochemist creates contageous(not infectious) nasty....gets a gang of like minded jihadist to coat a large number of indigenous coins from target area with said nasty...lets say euro's as an example.

ii) gives it to courier to take to target in a wallet/moneybag/purse or whatever, in smallish denominations...maybe €50 of €2 coins per bag per courier.

iii) courier goes to target area and "drops" wallet/purse etc somewhere obvious like a pub or public square

iv) due to lack of honesty in handing such items in these days, passer by picks it up, inspects the contents and thinks they got lucky...so goes and spends it in the shops.

v) shops duly transmit "drug mule" coins into general circulation

2-3 weeks later people start dropping in mysterious ways.

downright sneaky, downright evil, downright effective.pretty much the modern day equivalent of smallpox-infected blankets to native americans...but if that got public then everyone would be so completely paranoid about holding ANY physical cash..just in case one piece was bug infested.

I guess if that's a long term plan then that's why they removed all the silver content from our tender..it's a natural antimicrobial.

mind you, everybody's smartphones are quite a good vector for bugs and nasties too.

how often do you clean your touch-screen?

Edited by oracle

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