Written by Tim Green: Nordic startups are re-inventing POS. Their systems let even the smallest merchants take payments, see business patterns, track inventory and do marketing – all from one tablet.

In 2013, a robber tried to hold up a branch of the Skandinaviska Enskilda bank in Stockholm only to be told: there is no cash here. Unfortunately for him, he had selected one of Sweden’s growing number of cashless banks. As he trudged out of the building he asked: “Where else can I go?” Well, good question.

The fact is, Sweden is on a mission to outlaw cash. People use cards all the time there. Swedish buses do not accept coins and notes. Nor does the Stockholm metro. Over the border, Danish people don’t like using cash either. This is probably a good thing. Because soon they might not even be able to.

According to The Danish National Bank, cash and cheques accounted for 80 per cent of all retail value in 1991. By 2015, it was 20 percent. And this drastic decline looks set to continue. Especially as, in 2015, the Danish government made a proposal that businesses such as restaurants and petrol stations should no longer be legally bound to accept cash payments.