Turkey embraces cashless society despite Swedish concerns

Dr Soner Canko at Money20/20 Europe
DIFFERENT: Canko (centre) explains Turkey’s vision of a cashless society within 10 years

A call by Sweden’s central bank to make using cash a legal right for consumers will create question marks in the minds of central banks and other players in international markets and will raise “some concerns” about a completely cashless society, the CEO of Turkish card payment system operator BKM has told attendees during a panel session at Money20/20 Europe.

“The Swedish central bank announcement is going to be huge,” Dr Soner Canko explained. “Sweden is one of the flagship markets around the world. I’m afraid that this announcement is going to create more and more question marks in the minds of other central banks and other players in international markets as well.

“This is going to create some concerns about a cashless world. A cashless society is good for the modern life and good for the economy.”

“Our situation is a little bit different to other markets,” Canko continued, explaining Turkey’s approach. “Since the year 2010, we have a programme called Bye Bye Cash. We have certain initiatives such as debit card usage increase, contactless encouragement, mobile payment incentives. All these actions under this umbrella.

“We had quite significant progress in the past five years because of this powerful synchronization. At the end of the day, we will be one of the cashless societies in the coming ten years.”