Cashless Society Moves Closer in Denmark

Denmark’s government has proposed scrapping the obligation for some of the country’s retailers to accept cash.

Nearly one third of the population already use the MobilePay smartphone application for transferring money to other phones and shops. Denmark and Nordic neighbours Sweden and Finland have the most credit card payments per inhabitant within the European Union (EU).

The proposal, if accepted, would mean businesses such as clothing retailers, petrol stations and restaurants will no longer be legally-bound to accept cash from 2016. As debit or credit cards are routinely used for even the smallest payments in Denmark, any resistance is likely to be minimal.

The proposal is part of a pre-election package of economic growth measures aimed at reducing costs and increasing productivity for Danish businesses. However, there are concerns that a complete move to electronic payment could increase the risk of fraud. Sweden has seen such cases have doubled in the past decade.

Danske Bank, the country’s biggest bank and owner of MobilePay, has already acted to prevent fraud by linking the app to NemID, a digital signature linked to the Danish equivalent of individuals’ national insurance number.

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