Stockholm’s homeless magazine vendors no longer need to ask if you can spare any krona. They take cards.
In the most cashless society on the planet, the sellers of Situation Stockholm, a culture magazine sold by the homeless, were equipped last month with card readers to accept donations. The move marks a world first, according to their employer.
“More and more of our sellers come in and say people don’t have cash,” chief executive Pia Stolt said. “This becomes frustrating, but now they offer an opportunity to buy the paper.”
A tech-savvy population favours devices over cash in a country that printed Europe’s first banknotes in 1661. Bills and coins represented 2.7 percent of its economy in 2012, compared with an average 9.8 percent in the euro zone and 7.2 percent in the US, said the Bank for International Settlements.
Many think this is still too high. “We could and should be the first cashless society in the world,” Björn Ulvaeus, a former member of Abba, said on the website of a Stockholm museum dedicated to the band.
Situation Stockholm, which costs 50 kronor (R77) and whose cover stories have featured Swedish celebrities such as pop star Robyn and actress Noomi Rapace, can already be bought via a text-message service. By using card readers supplied by mobile payments company iZettle, the magazine is seeking to accelerate sales growth. – Bloomberg