Soon to be cashless countries

Some people view having to buy foreign currency a painful process, fraught with worries over fees and getting the best exchange rates.

But for me, buying foreign currency before a holiday or trip is one of those ‘this is really happening’ moments. Once that money is in my wallet, I know I’m really going.

Well, that small joy (or pain) may soon be a thing of the past, should countries begin to adopt cashless systems.

cashless payment

According to a Smarter Travel report, banking experts believe that by 2023, cash will not exist in Sweden, with all transactions replaced by some form of digital transfer, such as cards, RFID signals, or smartphone payment systems.

While that may not happen here, or in countries such as the US, UK and Canada, for some time, other countries – and indeed the world – are trending in that direction.

Under US law, anyone selling anything is required to accept cash as a form of payment, and some states have even established laws to prevent businesses from going totally cashless.

However, anyone travelling to Stockholm, Seoul, Singapore, Reykjavik and larger cities in China, may soon be doing so without cash, with Sweden ready to become the first to make the switch.

Swedish laws already allow retailers to operate completely cashless and these laws bypass banking laws that establish cash as legal tender.

For travellers, although the notion of going without the comfort of cash may, for some, seem daunting, there are many benefits to being cashless. These include lower security risks, faster transaction times, lighter wallets or purses and fewer fees. You may not even need to carry any plastic cards, should more stores adopt smartphone payment systems.

Would you be okay with going cashless? Or do you like more control over your money?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


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