Will Sweden Be the First Cashless Society?

Cash and coins account for only three percent of the Swedish economy, about half that of the US and Britain. Some predict that cash will disappear from Sweden in as little as 20 years. 

What's the Latest Development?


Sweden has been more aggressive than most countries when it comes to replacing cash and coins with electronic transfers, using mobile phones and credit cards to connect its citizens to the money grid. In fact, paper bills and coins represent just three percent of the Swedish economy, compared to nine percent in Europe and seven percent in the US. From public transportation to places of worship, Sweden's high-tech society is quickly replacing the cash system with more modern ways of moving money. Advocates who represent pensioners, however, say the change should be more gradual. 

What's the Big Idea?

Besides the novelty of adopting cashless technology, less cash on the street has meant fewer crimes for Sweden. "The number of bank robberies in Sweden plunged from 110 in 2008 to 16 in 2011—the lowest level since it started keeping records 30 years ago. It says robberies of security transports are also down." Government officials say it also forces underground economies into the light. Some vendors, however, accuse the government of colluding with big banks, which receive a service fee for credit card use. Others say a cashless society risks further identity fraud. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Keep reading Show less
Sponsored

22 months of war - condensed in a 1-minute video

No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap

Strange Maps
  • The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
  • This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
  • Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Keep reading Show less

Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

Keep reading Show less

How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

content.jwplatform.com
Videos
  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
Keep reading Show less