Countries’ Transition to Cashless Society Each Take Unique Paths

While Sweden, the United Kingdom and a few Asian Pacific countries have created roadmaps to a cashless society, most countries will still need to chart their own paths, a report from Global Data finds.

The Cashless World – Evolving Payment Environments in Key Asia Pacific and Western Markets looks at the route various countries have taken on their digital transformation journey. For the UK, credit the rollout of NFC payment capabilities such as contactless payment cards. On the other hand, Sweden looked to BankID, which has 80 percent of Swedes as registrants. The digital national identification and bank account system was used by Swish mobile wallet to attract many people to try digital wallets.

Digital technology has been credited for allowing people in developing regions to quickly leapfrog generations of technology. In such cases, the citizenry often quickly embraces mobile wallets because they represent a huge improvement over the status quo, as compared to more incremental improvements for people in developed economies. Those in poorer areas are being encouraged to adopt such technologies because they are a means of inclusion to identification networks and property registries, two key factors in helping people secure financial services and even increased mobility.

Some countries are looking to QR codes as mobile payment options, as they offer easy merchant transitions to cashless payments

“Over the next few years, the push for cashless adoption and acceptance will continue in many parts of the world,” Global Data senior payments analyst Arnie Cho said. “The payment environment is developing at different rates in each country. Each market will progress at its own pace and adopt a path that is most suitable to its unique circumstances. However, in terms of achieving a true cashless society, there is still a long way to go even for countries such as Sweden, as certain segments of society are still dependent on cash.”

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