Denmark may become the first country in the world to ban cash.
The proposal to ban all cash transactions is being introduced ahead of the Danish election in September, in the hope that cash will be phased out as early as 2016.
Digital transactions are very popular in Denmark with a third of all Danish citizens using the Danske Bank app, MobilePay, to pay for services and transactions. It’s unlikely that the new proposals to ban all cash transactions will be met with any opposition.
Financial institution lobbyist Finansraadet said that going cashless would save retailers money on security, in addition to time when counting money at closing of business day.
The Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) also supported the move, saying it was time shops were given the option of going cash-free.
“Society has changed so much that there is no longer a need for requirements on cash payments,” spokesman Henrik Hytolft told broadcaster DR.
“Plus, cash has become tremendously expensive to handle due to security reasons.”
However, there are fears that with electronic transactions, the risk of fraud will also rise. Opponents ahve cited the case of Sweden — a country with the highest number of bank transactions per person in the European Union — where fraud has doubled in the past 10 years.
Last year, Juniper Research forecast that smartphone payments would hit 9.9 billion by 2018, with one in five phones acting as digital wallets.
The technology is already available in Australia, though banks, businesses and PayPal are paving the way individually, making it more difficult to understand.
MasterCard Australasia market development and innovation head Matt Barr said Australia led the world in tap-and-pay credit card transactions, paving the way for smartphone payment technology.
“With contactless technology, every second transaction in Australia is a tapper now,” Mr Barr told News Corp Australia.
Other digital pay options such as Google Wallet, Apple’s Passbook and England’s Paym are starting to become more commonplace, with experts predicting that Nordic nations could become cashless by 2030.