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Breaking News English .com, Sweden In Move To Cashless Economy (20th March, 2012)

Sweden is destined to become the first country in the world to switch from banknotes and coins to a cashless economy. Only three per cent of transactions in Sweden are made using cash; the rest is credit cards or mobile phone payments. This compares with 7 per cent in the USA and 9 per cent in other Eurozone countries. Canada's Chronicle Herald newspaper reported on the extent of Sweden's move away from cash. It wrote: “In most Swedish cities, public buses don't accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cellphone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards." It also said churches are only accepting digital donations and not hard currency.

Sweden was the first European country to introduce banknotes in 1661. Today, the Swedish Bankers' Association is just one group in favour of a cashless society. Its security expert Par Karlsson said: “Less cash in circulation makes things safer, both for the staff that handle cash, but also of course for the public.” Bank robberies have gone down from 110 in 2008 to just 16 in 2011. Political corruption has also decreased because of the digital trail generated by electronic transactions. Not everyone supports getting rid of cash. Small business owners see it as another way for banks to make bigger profits. Banks charge from 5 Swedish kronor ($0.80) for every payment made by credit card.

Classroom handouts, online activities and a listening for this article are at http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1203/120320-cashless_economy.html



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Sweden is destined to become the first country in the world to switch from banknotes and coins to a cashless economy. Only three per cent of transactions in Sweden are made using cash; the rest is credit cards or mobile phone payments. This compares with 7 per cent in the USA and 9 per cent in other Eurozone countries. Canada's Chronicle Herald newspaper reported on the extent of Sweden's move away from cash. It wrote: “In most Swedish cities, public buses don't accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cellphone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards." It also said churches are only accepting digital donations and not hard currency.

Sweden was the first European country to introduce banknotes in 1661. Today, the Swedish Bankers' Association is just one group in favour of a cashless society. Its security expert Par Karlsson said: “Less cash in circulation makes things safer, both for the staff that handle cash, but also of course for the public.” Bank robberies have gone down from 110 in 2008 to just 16 in 2011. Political corruption has also decreased because of the digital trail generated by electronic transactions. Not everyone supports getting rid of cash. Small business owners see it as another way for banks to make bigger profits. Banks charge from 5 Swedish kronor ($0.80) for every payment made by credit card.

Classroom handouts, online activities and a listening for this article are at http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1203/120320-cashless_economy.html


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