Norway is a pioneer in the shift to digital payments and might be the first one to become completely cashless. Indeed, the Conservative Party (Høyre) plans to eliminate paper money by 2030. Their project consists of two steps: lifting the requirement to accept cash for businesses and introducing mandatory online billing as of 2018. The shift to cashless is supported by the Norwegian Police Federation, which considers that the removal of paper money will help fight against tax evasion and criminal activities.
Nevertheless, an increasing number of objectors are raising their voice to protect the Krone. A Facebook group named “JA til kontanter” (YES to cash) became so popular that it was turned into an official organisation, co-founded by Jørund Rytman, member of Parliament. The organisation advocates for traditional money mainly for privacy and security concerns. Indeed, digital technologies are subject to data breaches and many central banks have already been attacked.
Jørund Rytman also mentions that banknotes are the only payment instrument that is reliable in case of system failure. Furthermore, the elimination of cash would leave behind both the elderly – who are typically not used to e-transactions – and younger generations – who do not have access to banking services yet. And finally, various studies have already demonstrated cash’s other hidden benefits such as their educational attribute: a tool that effectively teaches children the value of money.