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Which grocery delivery company offers the best service for foreigners in Sweden?

Sweden is urging people in coronavirus risk groups and people with symptoms to stay at home and avoid shopping at supermarkets. So which grocery delivery company offers the least red tape for Sweden's foreign residents?

Which grocery delivery company offers the best service for foreigners in Sweden?
There's a range of grocery delivery options available in Sweden. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

After being alerted by The Local's readers to difficulties encountered when ordering home-delivered groceries without for example a Swedish payment card or personal ID number, we emailed questions to some of Sweden's leading supermarkets and grocery delivery companies in early-mid April.

Here's what they said.

Coop

What are your current delivery times from placing the order to the food arriving at the door?

(As of April 2nd) the waiting time is 11 days in Stockholm, seven days in Malmö, three days in Gothenburg and one to two days in the rest of the country depending on where you are. We are working intensively on increasing capacity and have done so step by step throughout the country in the last few weeks, and will continue to increase in order to cut our delivery times.

Do you need a Swedish personal number, BankID or a Swedish payment card to order food online?

No, it is not needed if you pay using a bank or credit card.

Have you done anything else in order to cope with the coronavirus crisis?

Apart from improving hygiene at every step of the chain and informing the drivers about how to reduce the risk of spreading (the infection) for the sake of their and our customers' safety, we have also introduced digital signing of deliveries. That means that you do not have to physically sign that you have received your order, we can leave the bag of groceries outside the customer's door. You will then receive an SMS with a link where you confirm that you have received the order.

We have also launched specific senior time slots in the three big cities (Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö), for those who are over 70 so that they have dedicated time slots they can choose. We are doing this because the pressure is so high right now in our online store and we want to create a separate opportunity for the elderly where the pressure is not as high and they can get their order faster.

Tarik Belqaid, press secretary, Coop


Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Ica

What are your current delivery times from placing the order to the food arriving at the door?

Depending on where in the country you live the waiting times can vary a lot. You can quickly check the delivery times in your town here.

Do you need a Swedish personal number, BankID or a Swedish payment card to order food online?

Shopping at Ica should be easy. For those who do not have a Swedish personal number, you can choose the option 'guest' instead of logging in via an account. In Ica's e-store you can pay using payment cards issued in the Nordic countries.

Have you done anything else in order to cope with the coronavirus crisis?

Ica has added to our regular e-store by quickly rolling out the meal app Ica Pronto, where you can order selected items and ready-made food from a local Ica store directly to your doorstep. Now that the demand for home delivery has significantly increased in connection with the corona outbreak and the Public Health Agency has urged at-risk groups not to go to for example grocery stores, we are prioritising those who neither can nor should visit our stores and it's possible to pay via Swish.

Susan Vo Bergqvist, press officer, Ica Group


Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/T

Mathem

What are your current delivery times from placing the order to the food arriving at the door?

We have had enormous demand in the last few weeks and delivery slots have filled up quickly every day. To avoid the queues getting longer and longer we have temporarily changed our procedure, so it is now only possible to book a delivery slot with up to two days' notice. We release new delivery times every day at noon. They fill up pretty quickly, but we hope to be back to a normal situation soon.

Do you need a Swedish personal number, BankID or a Swedish payment card to order food online?

No, we do not require personal number or BankID, and it is possible to pay using foreign cards.

Have you done anything else in order to cope with the coronavirus crisis?

MatHem has made quite a few temporary changes which you can read about here.

Lotta Olofsson, Mathem


Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Hemköp

What are your current delivery times from placing the order to the food arriving at the door?

The delivery times vary from town to town, but in general they are around eight days in the Stockholm area and around six days in the Gothenburg area.

Do you need a Swedish personal number, BankID or a Swedish payment card to order food online?

As a guest you can pay without having to state your personal number. You can choose between the payment options Visa, MasterCard, Klarna and American Express issued in the Nordic countries.

Have you planned any temporary solutions to make it easier for foreigners without a personal number, BankID or Swedish payment card to order food online?

No, not beyond the solutions we are able to offer today.

Have you done anything else in order to cope with the coronavirus crisis?

One measure we implemented early on was that we scrapped the rule that the delivery should be signed by the customer on the handheld computer. The customer can always choose to have their items delivered outside their door, and we send an SMS when they have been delivered and then just ring the doorbell and leave.

Fabiola Wikström, e-store manager, Hemköp


Protective glass set up at one of Hemköp's physical stores. Photo: Ali Lorestani/TT

Linas Matkasse

What are your current delivery times from placing the order to the food arriving at the door?

So far we are delivering as normal and we have not had any problems with either production or buying goods. The normal delivery time is seven to eight days from the time we lock down the week's orders during the night between Sunday and Monday.

Do you need a Swedish personal number, BankID or a Swedish payment card to order food online?

Yes, we require a Swedish personal number when you register as a customer.

Have you planned any temporary solutions to make it easier for foreigners without a personal number, BankID or Swedish payment card to order food online?

We accept foreign payment cards, but since we charge in arrears we need a Swedish personal number in case the card payment does not go through and we need to set up an invoice. This is important to us because we offer a subscription service which is intended for the long term. Our services are mainly aimed at families and in most cases someone in the household has a personal number which could be used for registering.

Have you done anything else in order to cope with the coronavirus crisis?

We have, among other things, changed our delivery routines. From mid-March, all our grocery bags have been delivered completely without personal contact, with the driver ringing the doorbell and then leaving the bag outside the door. The customer also gets an SMS which notifies them that the bag can be collected at the door.

We have also updated our hygiene routines and have introduced strict instructions to staff who pack grocery bags that they are not to work if they have the slightest indication of symptoms. We also advise production employees to avoid close contact and have introduced new routines for breaks. Employees are continuously reminded of our hygiene routines and we check that everyone working is healthy and free of symptoms to secure safe deliveries.

Walker Kinman, CEO, Linas Matkasse Group


Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

***

What should you be doing to help reduce the rate of infection?

In Sweden, the official advice requires everyone to:

  • Stay at home if you have any cold- or flu-like symptoms, even if they are mild and you would normally continue life as normal. Stay at home until you have been fully symptom-free for at least two days.
     
  • Practise good hygiene, by regularly and thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water, using hand sanitiser when that's not possible, and covering any coughs and sneezes with your elbow.
     
  • Keep distance from all other people when in public places. That includes shops, parks, museums, and on the street, for example. The World Health Organisation recommends keeping at least a 1.5-2 metre distance.
     
  • Avoid large gatherings, including parties, weddings, and other activities.
     
  • Work from home if you can. Employers have been asked to ensure this happens where possible.
     
  • Avoid all non-essential travel, both within and outside Sweden. That includes visits to family, planned holidays, and any other trips that can be avoided.
     
  • If you have to travel, avoid busy times such as rush hour if you can. This reduces the number of people on public transport and makes it easier for people to keep their distance.
     
  • If you are over 70 or belong to a high-risk group, you should stay at home and reduce all social contacts. Avoid going to the shops (get groceries delivered or try to find someone who can help you), but you can go outside if you keep distance from other people. Read more about the help available to those in risk groups here.
     
  • By following these precautions, we can all help to protect those who are most at risk and to reduce the rate of infection, which in turn reduces the burden on Sweden's healthcare sector.
     
  • Read more detail about the precautions we should all be taking in this paywall-free article. Advice in English is also available from Sweden's Public Health Agency and the World Health Organisation.

 

Member comments

  1. I gave up to do online shopping in Sweden. Most of them were in Swedish only. Google translator works in some sort, but you can’t search the food you want unless you really know the name in Swedish.

  2. MatHem works with my U.S. credit card. I received my delivery without any problems! I had to open in Google Chrome and use translator so I could understand what I was ordering. I’m here longer than expected due to COVID and not yet fluent in Swedish. They had great customer service, too.

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EUROPEAN UNION

Pensions in the EU: What you need to know if you’re moving country

Have you ever wondered what to do with your private pension plan when moving to another European country?

Pensions in the EU: What you need to know if you're moving country

This question will probably have caused some headaches. Fortunately a new private pension product meant to make things easier should soon become available under a new EU regulation that came into effect this week. 

The new pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) will allow savers to take their private pension with them if they move within the European Union.

EU rules so far allowed the aggregation of state pensions and the possibility to carry across borders occupational pensions, which are paid by employers. But the market of private pensions remained fragmented.

The new product is expected to benefit especially young people, who tend to move more frequently across borders, and the self-employed, who might not be covered by other pension schemes. 

According to a survey conducted in 16 countries by Insurance Europe, the organisation representing insurers in Brussels, 38 percent of Europeans do not save for retirement, with a proportion as high as 60 percent in Finland, 57 percent in Spain, 56 percent in France and 55 percent in Italy. 

The groups least likely to have a pension plan are women (42% versus 34% of men), unemployed people (67%), self-employed and part-time workers in the private sector (38%), divorced and singles (44% and 43% respectively), and 18-35 year olds (40%).

“As a complement to public pensions, PEPP caters for the needs of today’s younger generation and allows people to better plan and make provisions for the future,” EU Commissioner for Financial Services Mairead McGuinness said on March 22nd, when new EU rules came into effect. 

The scheme will also allow savers to sign up to a personal pension plan offered by a provider based in another EU country.

Who can sign up?

Under the EU regulation, anyone can sign up to a pan-European personal pension, regardless of their nationality or employment status. 

The scheme is open to people who are employed part-time or full-time, self-employed, in any form of “modern employment”, unemployed or in education. 

The condition is that they are resident in a country of the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein (the European Economic Area). The PEPP will not be available outside these countries, for instance in Switzerland. 

How does it work?

PEPP providers can offer a maximum of six investment options, including a basic one that is low-risk and safeguards the amount invested. The basic PEPP is the default option. Its fees are capped at 1 percent of the accumulated capital per year.

People who move to another EU country can continue to contribute to the same PEPP. Whenever a consumer changes the country of residence, the provider will open a new sub-account for that country. If the provider cannot offer such option, savers have the right to switch provider free of charge.  

As pension products are taxed differently in each state, the applicable taxation will be that of the country of residence and possible tax incentives will only apply to the relevant sub-account. 

Savers who move residence outside the EU cannot continue saving on their PEPP, but they can resume contributions if they return. They would also need to ask advice about the consequences of the move on the way their savings are taxed. 

Pensions can then be paid out in a different location from where the product was purchased. 

Where to start?

Pan-European personal pension products can be offered by authorised banks, insurance companies, pension funds and wealth management firms. 

They are regulated products that can be sold to consumers only after being approved by supervisory authorities. 

As the legislation came into effect this week, only now eligible providers can submit the application for the authorisation of their products. National authorities have then three months to make a decision. So it will still take some time before PEPPs become available on the market. 

When this will happen, the products and their features will be listed in the public register of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). 

For more information:

https://www.eiopa.europa.eu/browse/regulation-and-policy/pan-european-personal-pension-product-pepp/consumer-oriented-faqs-pan_en 

https://www.eiopa.europa.eu/browse/regulation-and-policy/pan-european-personal-pension-product-pepp_en 

This article is published in cooperation with Europe Street News, a news outlet about citizens’ rights in the EU and the UK. 

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