Sweden has an export-oriented economy, and according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), it ranks as the sixth-most-competitive economy in the world. Cash transactions in Sweden made up barely 2% of the value of all payments made in 2017 and id further anticipated to drop to 0.5% by 2020. In shops, cash is being used for barely 20% of the present transactions which is only half the number five years ago, and way below the global average of 75%.
Sweden is moving fast towards being an electronic and cashless economy. In terms of the number of cards in circulation, its card payments channel posted a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2% during the review period. The overall card payments channel is expected to post a CAGR of 2.16% over the forecast period.
During the review period, debit cards occupied the largest share of the payments channel, posting a CAGR of 3% and is projected to grow at the same rate during the forecast period, while credit cards are expected to account for a CAGR of 1%.
The Swedish card payments market grew marginally in value terms during the review period. The channel posted a review-period CAGR of 3.5% and is expected to register a forecast-period CAGR of 4%. As banking customers become more sophisticated, banks are looking to differentiate their product offerings, and card customization is gaining attention.
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The increasing capabilities of smartphone devices, an exponential rise in apps and lower prices have been instrumental in driving mobile commerce (m-commerce). In Sweden, the value of mobile payments (m-payments) grew substantially during the review period. Other factors driving the growth of m-commerce are improved search engine functionality, price comparison sites and the rising penetration of smartphones, Contactless and NFC payments
Consumer preferences such as price, convenience and associated services play an important role in customer decisions with regards to card choice. Despite card payments being cost-efficient, banks in Sweden charge an annual fee for debit cards. Banks and card providers are making efforts to enhance product features and added benefits, such as rewards points, discounts and cashback offers. Almost all leading banks in Sweden offer supplementary insurance cover for travel and card theft.