Top 5 countries turning cashless
The number of bank robberies in Sweden plunged from 110 in 2008 to 16 in 2011 not because security has vastly improved, but because most Swedish banks simply don't handle cash anymore. Although Sweden is probably the closest developed country to achieving a cashless society before 2020.
Though one of Africa's poorest countries, a mobile revolution has created an informal electronic banking system with more efficiency and convenience than many far more developed countries in the world. Cash is disappearing and there is no need for credit cards because even street vendors accept payments by mobile phones. A survey in 2012 found that the average customer made 34 transactions per month on their mobile phone higher than almost anywhere in the world.
The biggest African user of mobile money is Kenya, where there are 15 million subscribers to M-Pesa. Though originally a method to send money home from cities to families in rural areas, M-Pesa is widely used for many things from receiving salaries, to paying bills and school fees, slowly making cash obsolete.
As of January 1, 2013, no more new Canadian currency is being printed. Why? Firstly, there has been a decrease in demand for new bills. Secondly, the plastic bills have a longer life expectancy. According to a poll by PayPal Canada, 56% of Canadians already would prefer to use a digital wallet than cash. Also, Canada is a world leader in plastic payment, where payment by credit, debit and bank cards is almost 70 per cent compared to a world average of 40 per cent.
The Korean government has successfully put into place policies to encourage cashless behaviour which many other Asian countries can learn from.For example, South Korea introduced a preferential VAT treatment for consumers who pay with cards, moving the share of cash from 40 per cent to 25 per cent within four years from 2002 to 2006.