Sweden, which counts high debit penetration and an almost entirely banked population, is currently the most cashless country in the world. Consumers are rapidly abandoning cash in favor of other payment methods, predominantly cards — the country has the lowest number of ATM withdrawals as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in the world, and many bank branches, restaurants, stores, and even churches no longer handle cash. That’s accelerated cash’s decline: Only 2% of the total value of transactions in Sweden consist of cash — a figure that’s expected to decline to less than half a percent by 2020. This shift, which is largely a result of consumers’ lower reliance on cash, could make Sweden the first country in the world to become completely cashless. While the market is one of the most mature digital payments markets in the world, it’s still ripe for innovation and new entrants beyond cards.
Noteworthy Swedish Payment Providers
When selecting notable providers, Business Insider Intelligence looked in key areas of payments in Sweden, including banking, retail payments, digital money transfer, and payment processing, for firms making meaningful innovations. Some players, identified as incumbents, are larger and more established in the market, whereas others are newer entrants or startups competing for a growing share of the space. “Incumbents are being challenged by new players in the market and they have to adapt their services,” Jacob de Geer, CEO of iZettle, told Business Insider Intelligence. It’s worth noting that Sweden’s market is unique, as its exceptionally high digitization puts challengers on par with their legacy peers in terms of market share and impact.
Nordea. Nordea, which counts 10 million consumer banking customers, is a top-four bank in Sweden and the largest in the Nordic region. The bank has been innovating to grow its digital capabilities, particularly in the last [...]