Sweden is not abolishing cash

25 October 2021
What was claimed

Sweden is abolishing cash.

Our verdict

This is not true. Cashless transactions are common in Sweden, but the government told us it has no plans to stop issuing notes and coins.

A post with a screenshot claiming that “Sweden is abolishing money” has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook. In fact, although transactions without cash are common in Sweden, the Swedish government told Full Fact that it has no plans to abolish it.

The screenshot says in its entirety: “If anyone has any Swedish coins and banknotes left from a visit to that country, remember to change it all back to sterling.

“On 23 April 2022, Sweden is abolishing money: no more coins, no more banknotes.

“Every payment will be by card or online transfer. Every transaction will be traceable by the State.”

We’re not sure where this claim comes from. In particular, we can’t find anyone else making similar claims about this date.

However, there have been misleading reports about Sweden supposedly becoming a cashless society on 24 March 2023. This may be a misunderstanding of research by Professor Jonas Hedman, who estimated that this was the date when it would become rational for Swedish merchants to stop accepting payments in cash.

Full Fact got in touch with the Swedish government, which told us: “Neither the central bank nor the government have any plans to stop the issuance of notes and coins.”

We also made contact with Professor Hedman, who said: “Sweden is not abolishing money. Swedes have just stopped using cash... So the finance ministry is correct, this is not a governmental decision – it is a behavioral change outside the control of the government.”

He also clarified that his research provides “an estimation of when it becomes more expensive for an average merchant to accept cash than the marginal profit from cash sales.”

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because Sweden is not abolishing cash.

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