Report: Nordic countries deepen deviation from cash

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A new report by Nets, part of Nexi Group, has revealed that Nordic countries remain at the top of cashless usage rates in Europe.

In terms of users per country, one in two Swedish consumers always use a cashless payment method. For Norway, that number is 40%, whilst Denmark holding a 27% rate, and Finland is said to have only 10% of cashless users but that the trend is accelerating. 

Mobile payments are still on an upwards trajectory, being favoured among a fifth of Danish and Swedish consumers. 

The report additionally highlighted that Apple Pay holds a significant market share in terms of digital payments in Denmark and Sweden, but local cashless payment methods such as Sweden’s Swish, Norway’s Vipps and Denmark’s MobilePay are also becoming increasingly popular. 

Mobile payments in general have overtaken cash in the Nordics to become the second most preferred payment method, only behind card payments, with developments in contactless capabilities being the main driver for this shift.

Commissioned by the company and conducted by social researcher Kantar Sifo, the paper highlights that almost a third of Nordic consumers never pay with cash when shopping at physical locations. 

Lars Erik Tellmann, Chief Regional Officer for Nexi in the Nordics, commented: “We’ve carried physical wallets for centuries, taking cash, cards, receipts, and photos of loved ones with us everywhere. 

“Nowadays, Nordic consumers want to use their mobile phone as this wallet, carrying the same things with them but in digital form. Contactless provides a seamless and secure payment experience for consumers, while facilitating newer payment methods like SoftPOS, which are set to transform physical commerce experiences in the coming years.”

The Nordics region increased its contactless transaction limit without requiring PIN  to €50 back in 2019, which has further strengthened the appeal of cashless payments. 

Now that Finland is also expected to implement similar rules for its market starting from January next year, Nets is expecting that the proportion of contactless payments to grow even more.