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Sweden Plans Expansion of its Cash Infrastructure

Categories : Cash is a contingency and fall-back solution, Cash is a public good, Cash is available to all users
March 22, 2021
Published in : Access to cash, ATM, Central Bank, Sweden
Sweden, once the poster child of a society without cash, is increasing the number of cash centres and ATMs to ensure access to cash for all.
Guillaume Lepecq

Chair, CashEssentials

Riksbank opens 2 Cash Centres

The Riksbank is opening two new cash centres thereby tripling the current number of branches. Today, the central bank operates a single cash centre in Märsta, north of Stockholm. “To enable cash handling in the event of a crisis or serious disruption to society, we are opening two new offices. During spring 2021, a cash handling office will be opened in Jönköping  and during 2022 one will be opened in Falun.” says the Riksbank statement.

Between 2007 and 2018 the value of cash in circulation was almost halved, dropping from SEK 111 to SEK 57 billion. But since May 2018 the trend has been reversed and it has been on the rise again. At the end of February 2021, the value of notes and coins in circulation grew by 1.8% in value year-on-year.

Source: Riksbank

Banks Deploy 17 New ATMs

Besides cash centres, new ATMs will also be installed in 2021. Bankomat, the leading ATM deployer in Sweden, jointly owned by the five largest banks has announced that new cash machines will be deployed in 17 locations. In 7 locations, existing cash dispensers will be upgraded and will include a cash deposit function. The other 10 units are new installations in towns which currently do not have a cash dispenser. The number of ATMs has decreased by 30% since 2010, from 3,566 units to 2,508 units in 2019.

A new law – officially named the Obligation for Certain Credit Institutions to Provide Cash – came into effect on January 1st requiring the large banks to provide an adequate level of cash services. The law was designed to protect the more fragile people such as the elderly, migrants, those with disabilities, the rural or those who do not have access to digital payments.

Government investigates Future Role of the State in the Payments Market

In December 2020, the Ministry of Finance announced that a special investigator, Anna Kinberg Batra, will review the role of the state in the payment market and determine what the role should look like in the future. The review will be based on a thorough and broad analysis of:

The investigation is expected to be completed by end November.

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