30.3.12

Listening en inglés Sweden is going cashless.


Sweden could be the first country to go cashless. Even churches are accepting credit cards.
Sweden was the first European country to introduce banknotes in 1681. Now it has come farther than most on the path towards getting rid of them.

Cash payments represent only three per cent of Sweden's economy, compared to an average of nine per cent in the eurozone and seven per cent in the U.S.

In most Swedish cities, public buses now don't accept cash. Bus tickets are prepaid or purchased with a mobile phone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices have stopped handling cash altogether. Of course, banks make money on electronic transactions, so it is in their interest to limit cash.

The Swedish Bankers' Association is one group in favour of a cashless society. It says the shrinkage of the cash economy is already making an impact in crime statistics. Bank robberies in Sweden have plunged from 110 in 2008 to 16 in 2011, the lowest number since it started keeping records 30 years ago.

Friedrich Schneider of the Johannes Kepler University in Austria, says that the prevalence of electronic transactions, and the digital trail they generate, helps explain why Sweden has less of a problem with with the black market than countries with a stronger cash culture, such as Italy or Greece.  

Political corruption has also decreased because of the digital trail generated by electronic transactions.

Andrea Wramfelt, who owns a bowling alley in the southern city of Landskrona stopped accepting cash in 2010. She believes coins and notes will cease to exist in Sweden within 20 years.

But there is resistance. Hanna Celik, whose family owns a newspaper kiosk in a Stockholm shopping center, says the digital economy is all about banks looking for bigger profits. Celik says he gets charged about 5 Swedish kronor about 0.50 euro cents for every credit card transaction, and Swedish Law prevents him from passing on that charge to consumers. "That stinks," he says. "For the banks, this is a very good way to earn a lot of money, that's what it's all about."

Curt Persson, chairman of Sweden's National Pensioners' Organization says that a cashless economy is a problem for elderly people in rural areas who don't have credit cards or don't know how to use them to withdraw cash and make payments.

However most experts don't expect cash to disappear soon, but that its proportion of the economy will continue to decline. 


Vocabulario.
banknotes > billetes de banco

getting rid of (phrasal verb: get rid of) > deshacerse.
  on the path toward getting rid of them.
  en el camino hacia deshacerse de ellos.

handling (verb: handle) > manejar.
  and some bank offices have stopped handling cash altogether.
  y algunas oficinas bancarias han dejado de manejar dinero en efectivo por  completo.

shrinkage > disminución
  It says the shrinkage of the cash economy is already making an impact in crime statistics.
  Dice que la contracción de la economía de efectivo ya está haciendo un impacto en  las estadísticas del crimen.

plunged (verb: plunge) > desplomarse
  Bank robberies in Sweden have plunged from 110 in 2008.
  Los robos de bancos en Suecia se han desplomado desde 110 en 2008.


trail > rastro digital
  Friedrich Schneider of the Johannes Kepler University in Austria, says that the prevalence of electronic transactions, and the digital trail they generate,
  Friedrich Schneider, de la Universidad Johannes Kepler de Austria, dice que la prevalencia de las transacciones electrónicas, y el rastro digital que generan.

black market > el mercado negro

bowling alley > bolera

cease (verb: cease) to cease doing/to do sthg, dejar de hacer algo
  She believes coins and notes will cease to exist in Sweden within 20 years.
  Ella cree que los billetes y monedas dejarán de existir en Suecia dentro de 20 años.

looking for (phrasal verb: look for) > buscar

passing on (phrasal verb: pass on) > dar, pasar
charge > coste, costo
  Swedish Law prevents him from passing on that charge to consumers.
  Ley sueca le impide pasar ese coste a los consumidores.
Ejemplo:
 could you pass on the message as soon as you see him?  
¿podrías darle el recado tan pronto como lo veas?

stinks (verb: stink) < apestar

earn > ganar

elderly > mayor, de edad, anciano.

withdraw > reintegro

payments > pagos


Curso ingles online. Escuchar inglés por Roy Robinson

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