Sweden, to a certain degree, is more and more becoming a cashless society. Despite its small size, it was among the European countries least likely to use cash money . The use of cash declined for years, as the share of cash in total payment transactions reached around 12 percent. On top of that, the country is experimenting with its own digital currency, the e-krona. An experiment like that could eventually lead to the creation of one of the world’s first major CBDC – central bank digital currency , a cryptocurrency created and issued by a national monetary authority - further cementing Sweden as a global frontrunner in digital payments.

Cashless payments analyzed

If Sweden do not use cash, how do they prefer to pay? Cashless payments are often referred to as “digital payments” and indicate any type of payment that does not involve physical coins or paper money. This can include transactions involving a mobile phone, but also includes card payments. This distinction matters for Sweden, as card payments ranked as the most popular offline payment method in the country . Most card payments consisted of debit cards – as the debit card transaction volume is roughly five times bigger than that of credit cards. The popularity of card payments extended to online shopping as well, although invoicing was a more popular way to pay for e-commerce in 2020. Mobile phone payments are prevalent in Sweden, though, especially when consumers want to pay money to their friends .

Swish: the local mobile payment app

An important digital payment method available in Sweden is Swish: This mobile payment app was already more popular then the similar-functioning PayPal or Apple Pay even before the coronavirus pandemic. Swish was originally an initiative from several of Sweden’s biggest banks that officially launched in 2012. By March 2021, the application – which can be used both online as well as in-store - had over eight million user accounts . It is estimated to have a daily active user (DAU) count of more than 200,000 people per day.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 27 most important statistics relating to "Payment methods in Sweden ".


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