Sweden has major ATM shortage

ATMSweden has the second lowest density of cash machines in the EU, with 645 of them being made obsolete in the past two years alone.

The ATM density has now fallen to its lowest since 1994, with an average of 3.2 per 10,000 people, according to the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper. The worst affected regions in the country are Östergotland and Uppsala.

Meanwhile, in the western Swedish town of Varmland, pensioners protested recently after another cash machine was bricked up. Following the protests, the Nordea bank vowed to put install a new ATM in the town before the end of 2013.

The Scandinavian country is also near the top of the list when it comes to non-cash payments. A number of businesses now only accept cards for payments while some bank branches have stopped handling cash.

Swedish researcher Niklas Arvidsson published a report recently stating that there is a chance Sweden could be cashless by 2030. But he noted that such a scenario could only occur if a total ban on cash was introduced.

Bankomat AB President Stefan Bergelind explained that the number of withdrawals at cash machines is falling by between six and eight per cent per year. He said that there will be fewer machines in urban areas where the transition to paying by card is much quicker than in rural areas, where the change is likely to be slower.