Nordea, Norway's number two bank, with operations across Scandinavia, has announced that starting Monday its Norwegian branches will not handle cash. Period.
The bank's plan, surprising as it sounds, is part of Scandinavia's move toward a mainly cashless society, using debit and credit cards, and using those increasingly through cellphone-based cards. Nordea stopped taking cash at most of its branches a while ago; the announcement only affects the last one with cash, at Oslo's Central Station. For those who want it, cash is still available at ATMs.
For a fuller discussion of the issue in TheLocal.no, click HERE
It's a transition that is not without controversy. There's a national campaign to save cash, headed by a former head of the National Police. The campaign argues that cash is a crucial part of society's infrastructure, and also that abandoning it will leave people in rural areas at risk because of poor mobile reception. But the head of the Norwegian Farmers' Union supports the move, saying that if “mobile reception is an issue, but then the discussion should be about how to get better mobile reception.”