In Sweden, the Church has had to adapt because its followers are carrying less and less cash around with them. It has therefore now become commonplace for churches in places like Stockholm to display their bank details on giant screens during Sunday services, so that church-goers can whip out their phones and make an instant payment using an app – “Swish” – which has been set up by the country’s banks and which is now seriously competing with credit cards. This comes with the greatest of satisfaction for the Church’s finances as it is being overwhelmed with donations that have now been made easier than ever thanks to this electronic service.
In fact, Sweden is the pioneering nation in terms of electronic payment services, which is masterfully demonstrating that cash is on its way to becoming a barbarous relic of the past, as I have been saying since 2013. Even homeless people now have card readers enabling them to receive charity, in a country where cash now makes up only 2% of its entire economy. Sweden has in fact become a country where retailers don’t think twice about contacting the police if a customer tries to make a substantial payment in cash. Because, as the authorities are essentially saying, “paying in cash is suspicious…”
In fact, the disappearance of cash is now becoming vital in ensuring the proper operation of negative interest rates, which will be effective in the fight against the scourge of deflation. In the absence of public policies aimed at stimulating our economies, due to executive powers entirely focused on fighting against deficits, this preordained and inescapable disappearance of cash will therefore transfer absolute control of the monetary mass to the hands of the central banks.
As a result, this completely electronic system will significantly strengthen the power of the central banks, which will be transformed into universal banks, competing head to head with the private banking system from the point of view of collecting deposits. Of course, the banking system will be destabilised as it will have been stripped of its privileges. However, our economies’ secular stagnation, which has dictated the introduction of negative interest rates, also demonstrates the miserable failure of this same private banking system which has not involved itself at all in the process of recovering growth.
As for the general public, their reticence towards the disappearance of cash has diminished considerably these last few years with the help of Bitcoin. This irresistible tendency towards the digitalisation of means of payment is in fact also seducing the “anti-establishment” militants, who are massive supporters of Bitcoin, and therefore, in spite of themselves, militants of the eradication of cash.