Why Sweden Is Going Cash-Free

December 26, 2015, 4:31 PM UTC
Aerial panorama of Stockholm, Sweden
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sweden could very well be the first country to one day go totally cash-free.

In fact, the Scandanavian country is well on its way, according to a new report from the New York Times. The country already has many banks that no longer dispense or take cash.

But there may be issues brewing with the move to all digital transactions and a lack of physical currency. According to the newspaper:

Not everyone is cheering. Sweden’s embrace of electronic payments has alarmed consumer organizations and critics who warn of a rising threat to privacy and increased vulnerability to sophisticated Internet crimes. Last year, the number of electronic fraud cases surged to 140,000, more than double the amount a decade ago, according to Sweden’s Ministry of Justice.

“It might be trendy,” said Bjorn Eriksson, a former Interpol president in an interview with the Times. “But there are all sorts of risks when a society starts to go cashless.”

The report continued that physical bills and coins amount to just 2% of the country’s economy. The U.S., meanwhile, is at 7.7%.

In October, Fortune reported how some businesses in Sweden were testing out a six-hour workday and what it means for the country.