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New app lets Swedes transfer cash via mobile

Published: 19 Dec 2012 15:28 GMT+01:00

“Imagine you want to sell a bike,” Danske Bank spokesman Erik Kristow told The Local.

“But you don’t want to hand it over until you see the money. Well, I could simply ‘Swish’ you the amount with my phone, you could see it enter your account in real time. Then I could cycle off with my new bike.”

Swish, a mobile payment service launched last week, is even a world first according to Head of Channels at Danske Bank, Daniel Wahlstrom.

"This is unique because of the collaboration of the banks, and the fact that the money is instantly transferred from one bank account to the other,” he said.

"Many of the other systems around the world rely on a credit card platform, whereas Swish works via your own salary account, and you can see the transaction as soon as it's happened."

The app was developed in collaboration between the six largest banks in Sweden: Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Länsförsäkringar Bank, Nordea, SEB and Swedbank, their biggest cooperation in 50 years.

According to Nordea spokesman Ragnar Roos, Swish thrives in person-to-person transactions where an exact cash figure is needed.

“People have smaller amounts of money to transfer and often don’t want to use cash. Swish is more useful than cash, especially in situations where you find yourself splitting the bill at dinner, for example," he told The Local.

“It’s not a service for shops, it’s strictly between people. It even works for transactions on sites like Blocket,” he said, referring to the popular Swedish buy-sell site.

Users simply need to connect their mobile number with their internet banking service, and then download the Swish service to their phones using Mobile Bank-ID.

And tech-hungry Swedes have already answered the call.

According to Kristow, the app has been downloaded over 40,000 times since its release earlier this month, a figure he admits has exceeded the banks' expectations.

“Consumers in Sweden are eager to adapt to new technology and mobile use is growing rapidly. All these banks have apps for mobile banking, so the usage is increasing quite rapidly," he said.

"Internet use is high too, and the market is ready for an alternative to cash and credit cards.”

Kristow added that the unique benefit of the service is the practical advantage of seeing the money transferred in real time.

So does Swish take Sweden one step closer to a cashless society?

“Perhaps,” Kristow laughs.

“Soon you’ll only need your wallet for your business card. And maybe a credit card or two.”

Swish walk-through video, in Swedish

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

16:42 December 19, 2012 by princeally
but this way is already exist in a country like kenya, they call it m-pesa, is not exactly like this, since they don't use app, instead you use your number, to send and to recieve, money. check it here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-Pesa
21:41 December 19, 2012 by wathithi
This is jätte hilarious,KENYA started using this apps many years ago ,first it was on fon 2 fon,BUT for the last 4 years its works with the banks also and millions of kenyan and other EAST AFRICANS can attest to this,SORRY SWEDEN,you came in late in this!.

Some experts from spain and Netherlands had to travel to kenya and learn more about it ,thus they introduced it to their countries.

Furthermore its so advanced now such that you can move your money from bank to bank and from one mobile fon to another persons bank account ,pay bills, get loans,get airtime credit on loan to pay later etc.

BRAVO KENYA!, BRAVO AFRICA.
06:26 December 20, 2012 by gnhundu
Dear Mr Kristow,

As my friends in #1 and #2 have said this technology has been in use in Africa for a long time. M-pesa has been available in Kenya for at least a decade. In Southern Africa, it has been available in Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe!

The basis of the system is that sometimes people in these Africa countries are poor and unbanked, and the system thrives in such economies hence you find it works in countries like Zimbabwe. To a certain extent, you confirm it here too ""People have smaller amounts of money to transfer and often don't want to use cash." In the African countries like Zimbabwe, its not a question of wanting to use cash but that the cash is just not available.

The system has also thrived because the mobile phone as a technology is probably the most widespread means of technology in poorer economies and the penetration ratios are high...

Just thought i would put my tewo cents worth.....
07:28 December 20, 2012 by damaros
Bravo Namibia Bravo Africa
08:45 December 20, 2012 by smilingjack
in australia we have the 4 major. 4 large banks which dominate making - on avergae $5-$10 billion a year in profits. That $35 - $70 billion kr - per year. each! we get stung with fees the rest of the wold wouldnt accept.

their latest trick to make cash was to remove atm's from airports. cant have people getting access to their money.

cant see them embracing technology like this.

good news though. australia is to get an eticket system similar to swedens for public transport soon. wow. no phone app though.
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