18 September 2014

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James Piggot - Misys

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Cash is dead - in Finland at least

22 May 2013  |  2116 views  |  4

Recently my work has taken me to Helsinki a couple of times, and during my last visit to one of our customers the conversation turned to cash or rather to the lack of it. This first becomes apparent when taking a taxi from the airport, all taxis have the ability to take payment by card and that is the default way in which payment is usually made.

Someone at the bank then said they usually withdraw 20 Euros every few weeks to have a reserve of cash in case it was required. Others expressed surprise and said they never carry even small amounts of cash as it's redundant and not required, all those fiddly coins taking up space that can be used to carry useful stuff.

At the airport I paid for my snack by card, yes you can do this in Heathrow but it often causes some dirty looks and grumbles from people behind you in the queue due to the slow performance of the card authorisation system. In Finland it is accepted and no one says anything.

As a final note, my mobile bleeped a minute or two after my airport purchase with a text message from a major UK bank saying

"Your debit card ending xxxx was used to make a payment in Sweden. If you are concerned, please call us on ...."

Comments: (4)

A Finextra member | 22 May, 2013, 21:13

Is there no value in anonymity, for any types of transaction at all? Well I guess your foreign business trips may be missing the fun factor... and Helsinki would be a suitable destination in that sense (EBADay 2014?)

A Finextra member | 24 May, 2013, 09:13

Does this mean that there is no prostitution, gambling, drugs or other illegal activity in Finland?

A Finextra member | 24 May, 2013, 11:37

The activities listed are surely all legal and respectable in such a liberal environment as Finland.

A Finextra member | 24 May, 2013, 11:51

That's what Bitcoin is for.

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James Piggot

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