Use of cash fades in Sweden and more than 4,000 Swedes have implanted microchips in their hands to pay for things. People with the implants can wave their hand near a machine to unlock their office or gym, rather than taking out a key card. So, many Swedes Will Pay for Christmas Gifts by Implanted Microchips This Year
An implant lets these Swedes enter buildings, access concerts and share via social media. A cafe in Stockholm has become completely cash-free. Few places are tilting toward a cashless future as quickly as Sweden, which has become hooked on the convenience of paying by app and plastic.
What about bio-hacking?
However, so-called biohacking is on the rise as more people depend on wearable technology and interconnected devices. It costs about $180 (£140) to have a microchip implanted in the hand and the chip is the size of a grain of rice. Several companies in Sweden offer the service to their employees for free
Half of Sweden’s retailers are predicting they will stop accepting bills before 2025 and the government is recalculating the societal costs of a cash-free future. Most microchip users are not concerned with hacking or surveillance at this point.
Related: Norway – A Cashless Society by 2020?
Swedes Will Pay for Christmas Gifts by Implanted Microchips This Year
The Swedish central bank is testing a digital currency, an e-krona, to keep firm control of the money supply. Lawmakers are exploring the fate of online payments and bank accounts if an electrical grid fails or servers are thwarted by power failures, hackers or even war.
The implants have already helped replace the need for a host of daily necessities. Users with microchips in their hands have replaced their gym cards and office key cards. When they enter their workplaces, they simply wave their hands near a small box and types in a code before the doors open.
BioHax International is the market leader in this innovate industry and has captured public imagination since it was started five years ago by Jowan Osterlund, a former professional body piercer. Ask most people in Sweden how often they pay with cash and the answer is “almost never.” A fifth of Swedes, in a country of 10 million people, do not use automated teller machines anymore.
In June 2017, the state-owned SJ rail line started scanning the hands of passengers with biometric chips to collect their train fare while on board. The train conductor can read the chip with a smartphone to confirm the passenger has paid for their journey.
Consumer groups say the shift leaves many retirees — a third of all Swedes are 55 or older — as well as some immigrants and people with disabilities at a disadvantage, and some experts say the ethical dilemmas will become bigger the more sophisticated the microchips become.
Swedes Will Pay for Christmas Gifts by Implanted Microchips This Year, written by Tor Kjolberg