The Denmark National Bank will stop printing banknotes and minting coins in 2016, according to a news release from the bank on Oct. 21, 2014.
“Although the volume of cash in circulation remains high in Denmark, demand for new banknotes and coins has been falling for some years,” according to the news release.
The bank does not expect the trend to reverse and cites “declining use of banknotes for transactions, better recirculation of banknotes and an improved banknote quality so that banknotes have a longer life” among the reasons dampening demand for new production.
Those trends mean it is not “economical and will not be economical in the future” for the bank to continue producing notes and coins.
The bank will “outsource these functions to external service providers. This decision is expected to yield total savings of kr. 100 million until 2020.”
The bank will remain the issuing authority for notes and coins, according to the news release. It will also “retain its expertise within banknotes and coins. Only the actual production of banknotes and coins will be transferred from an internal department to external service providers.”
In addition to the cards, the introduction of mobile payment opportunities are becoming more popular.
One economist was quoted as saying that Denmark would become a cash-free zone one day – not in the short run, but within this century.
In a related 2011 newspaper article,Tina Fussel, managing director of digital payment administrator Nets, said “cash was smart when it replaced raw materials as a form of payment. But now we are in a digital age and people should understand that we now mostly use electronic means to pay rather than paper and metal. In light of that, a charge for using cash would provide an incentive to swap over.”