17 Swedish towns to get new cash machines after law change

New cash machines will be installed in 17 Swedish towns after the country changed its laws to require the country’s major banks to offer cash withdrawals even in rural areas.

17 Swedish towns to get new cash machines after law change
A woman withdrawing money from a cash machine/ATM. Photo: Isabell Höjman/TT

The new law means that six of Sweden’s largest banks have to allow customers to deposit and take out cash from their branches, without having to travel too far.

As part of this, Bankomat – a company co-owned by Sweden’s banking giants – said it would install 17 new cash machines across the country in the first half of 2021.

Ten of these towns will get their first cash machines, and seven will have their current cash machines upgraded.

The law slightly halts Sweden’s journey to becoming a cashless society, but it is unlikely to have a huge effect on the decrease in the use of cash in the country.

In the second half of 2020, the number of withdrawals decreased 21 percent compared to the same period in 2019, with Swedes on average withdrawing 545 kronor a month.

That’s according to Bankomat’s statistics, which also show that Swedes withdrew in total 33.9 billion kronor in the second half of 2020, down from 42.5 billion kronor.

These towns will get new cash machines:

Furudal, Dalarna
Lillhärdal, Härjedalen
Kosta, Kronoberg
Glommersträsk, Norrbotten
Harads, Norrbotten
Karesuando, Norrbotten
Nikkala, Norrbotten
Vidsel, Norrbotten
Vittangi, Norrbotten
Östra Husby, Östergötland

These towns will get upgrades:

Djurås, Dalarna
Svärdsjö, Dalarna
Bjurholm, Västerbotten
Bredbyn, Västernorrland
Junsele, Västernorrland
Marstrand, Västra Götaland
Pålsboda, Örebro

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What happens if you don’t pay a bill in Sweden?

Sweden's Enforcement Authority is responsible for collecting unpaid debts, fines, and declarations of bankruptcy. So, what happens if an unpaid bill reaches the Enforcement Authority, and can you do anything if you have a black mark on your record?

What happens if you don't pay a bill in Sweden?

What happens when you have a bill?

Usually, if you have a bill in Sweden, you will receive an invoice (faktura) either digitally or via post, which will include details such as the amount owed, who to pay and the date payment is due (förfallodatum).

If you don’t pay the invoice in time, the person you owe money to may turn the case over to inkasso, or a debt collection agency, who will again send you an invoice for payment, plus the agency’s fee.

If this invoice goes unpaid, the Enforcement Authority will get involved.

The Swedish Enforcement Authority, Kronofogden in Swedish, is responsible for collecting unpaid debts. It does this by providing advice and support to those who are unable to pay their debts, as well as helping creditors – such as, for example, landlords whose tenants have not paid their rent.

The debt collection agency will pass unpaid bills on to them, and you may receive a betalningsanmärkning or black mark on your credit record.

Before you receive a black mark, however, you will first receive an ansökan om betalningsföreläggande from the Enforcement Authority. If you pay this in time, your debt will not be registered as a betalningsanmärkning.

There are some types of payment where you can receive a betalningsanmärkning without the bill going through a debt collection agency first. These are usually payments owed to the state, such as unpaid tax, unpaid student loan repayments or unpaid municipal parking fees.

You are unlikely to come into contact with the Enforcement Authority unless you miss or forget to pay a bill.

What happens if you get a black mark?

A black mark can have pretty major consequences – it can stop you from hiring a car, getting a credit card, borrowing money (including getting a mortgage), taking out a phone contract or even renting an apartment, as well as barring you from ordering anything on credit or paying via invoice.

This is due to the fact that whenever you apply for a loan or credit in Sweden, the lender will check your credit score (kreditupplysning) to see if there is any risk of you not paying up. Many lenders have a strict policy on not lending to individuals with black marks on their credit score to minimise risk, no matter whether the mark is due to an unpaid phone bill or a missed mortgage repayment.

How can I check if I have one?

You can check if you have a black mark by contacting a credit check company – here is a list of all credit check companies in Sweden. Some may charge a small fee for the service, whereas others offer it for free.

One advantage of checking your own credit score before contacting a lender is that your credit score is not affected when you carry out a check on yourself. 

If, however, a bank carries out a credit check on you, this can affect your credit score – it’s usually not an issue if you carry out one or two checks, but a lot of checks in a short period of time could cause issues.

Can you do anything to remove it?

Unfortunately, no. 

All you can do is wait – a black mark will disappear from your record after three years for private individuals or five years for businesses. 

The best strategy is to avoid getting a black mark on your record in the first place – such as by paying your bills via autogiro (direct debit), keeping an eye on your post (as well as your digital post), and paying for items up-front if possible to avoid invoices, rather than using “buy now, pay later” credit services such as Klarna or Clearpay.