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IBM i Power Champion Mats Lidström on Sweden Going Cashless and How Technology Plays a Big Role

Charlie Guarino talks with Mats Lidström, CPO and IBM i chief architect, Apper Systems, about his IBM i journey and his unique perspectives

Charlie Guarino: Hi everybody. This is Charlie Guarino. Welcome to another edition of TechTalk SMB and this month's podcast I'm very happy to be joined by Mats Lidström. Mats Lidström is the CPO and IBM i chief architect at Apper Systems AB located in Sweden. Mats has a very impressive and long history using IBM i and is really on the forefront of writing completely modern applications. He's also the director of Common Sweden and also a member of CEAC which is the Common European Advisory Council. Finally he's also an IBM Champion so he really is fully committed to this platform and he's a good friend. In this podcast, we will be talking not about so much IBM i but talking to Mats as a Swedish citizen focused primarily on Sweden has gone or about to become cashless, a completely cashless society. You'll hear me talking about that for March 2023 and they—this—they accomplish this using a prod—a mobile product called Swish. You'll hear me talking about that and you'll hear Mats talking about that as well. The conversation you're about to hear picks up just as we started the conversation so it's a bit mid sentence but you'll be able to quickly get up to speed and I think you'll find this topic completely fascinating. I—I found it wonderful and I really wondered to myself if this could ever happen in the United States. We'll find out but in the meantime I give you Mats Lidström and here we go. Thank you. You know Sweden is the first country in the world presumably and I keep seeing March, March 24, 2023. I don't know—I don't know how that particular date came into play but March 24—I guess you know that date too right?
 
Mats Lidströ​m: No, I hadn't thought about that but—but in fact I don't have any cash at all these days.
 
Charlie: Right. Well then that's—there you go so because I think a lot of Americans would be very interested to think about how that would even happen here.
 
Mats: Yup.
 
Charlie: I—I don't know. I mean it's an interesting topic. I mean it's—

Mats: Some years—some years ago you couldn't buy with a credit card if you went to a small shop because they say that oh the banks will charge me a lot but nowadays when you come into a small shop, we don't accept cash.
 
Charlie: I did see that and I also saw that if you want—if you want to use cash or banks, you have to notify them—well this is what I read online—if you want to deposit a large amount, you have to notify the bank ahead of time because they don't have the storage anymore for holding large amounts of cash.
 
Mats: Yeah and the other way around. If you want to—to withdraw cash and you don’t have a credit card. If you're working for a say—so I'm the president of this community where we have 64 houses. We have a—we do things together and we have—we own things together and we have some money, not much money but when we buy some things some petrol for some machine we—we have together and if you then need cash for that, we can't extract cash from our account because we don't have any—any bank services because it's too expensive for us but we can't go to a bank and withdraw that money that easily because not lots of banks have cash so it's a problem—it's a problem if you need cash.
 
Charlie: But that's a problem already you're saying in 2021 but yet the actual date is 2023 so it's still a year and half—it's 18 months away and yet you're saying—
 
Mats: Yeah.
 
Charlie: So in your mind, you are already 100% cashless.
 
Mats: Yeah. Normal persons then or all persons they do have an internet bank. They can withdraw from—from machines, ATM's. They can pay with cards and the Swish the great thing with that is that you can exchange money between people directly just from your—your phone so you can—so if you and I go to a restaurant and we say that okay we pay our own part of the dinner but let me pay and you Swish me. Then you can Swish me and I get the money directly instead of them going to a bank or a web—going into the—into the—logging onto your bank on internet and then making a bank transfer. That takes two days or something for the money to come to the other one.
 
Charlie: But Swish is immediate.
 
Mats: Immediate. It's so easy to just yeah handle payments, let one in the gang pay for the whole lot and then switch the money over so it's so easy to—to yeah to do whatever.
 
Charlie: Well first of all so how do I pronounce this bank, the central bank? Is Ricksbank or Richbanks?
 
Mats: Riksbanken you say.
 
Charlie: Riks—Ricks. The American accent. Riksbanken?
 
Mats: This of an x. Rix.
 
Charlie: Riks. Okay of course. Rixbanken very much like Handelsbanken.
 
Mats: Handelsbanken is one of the major banks.
 
Charlie: Right.
 
Mats: Riksbanken is the authority in the country that handles the—the central handling of all the money and everything, the interest rates and that's the Riksbanken.
 
Charlie: One thing I learned which I thought was quite fascinating was how advanced Sweden is in so many different topics of course and apparently they were the first European country to even have money, bank notes and that was in 1661 so you can see I did a lot of—so they're always—they're always at the front of technology even 400 years ago or 300 years ago.
 
Mats: Well the funny thing with that is I live in a community called Tumba and actually it's in Tumba where the Riksbank founded and started the—the factory that made money that produced back in the 17th. 
 
Charlie: Wow.
 
Mats: Yeah, what is that? The 16th century. No, no you say—
 
Charlie: 18—18th century. 
 
Mats: The 1760 or something like that.
 
Charlie: Right. 18th century. Wow.
 
Mats: So it's still here and that's due to—there was water so they could build the factory here and they produced the money and they have done up until now because they were bought by—by an American company and now it's outsourced but they still do the paper. They still do the paper—
 
Charlie: Even today?
 
Mats: Yeah, the paper they do and then they print it somewhere else and then distribute it because—
 
Charlie: But you know it was only a few years ago when I was in Sweden in Stockholm and I actually had one of the first new bills in Sweden. It had—it had—I don't know her name but it had the woman on it who wrote Pippy Longstocking the Swedish one.
 
Mats: Exactly.
 
Charlie: My point is they're still making money even—oh you have it right there. The 20 Krona but they still have—what is her name?
 
Mats: Astrid Lingren.
 
Charlie: Oh that's—I thought I knew that name. Yes but they're still—if they're still printing money today, what's the point of still printing money today if it's going to be obsolete in 18 months?
 
Mats: Yeah, that's why they are stopping to print the money. They are just producing the paper and then they are sending the paper to somewhere else where they are printing money for the countries that needs money still.
 
Charlie: Oh other countries, not Swedish money.
 
Mats: Yeah, some Swedish money are still produced of course—
 
Charlie: Right.
 
Mats: But it goes down. It goes down, less and less cash.
 
Charlie: So I wonder what happens on that day in March, what happens? Does all physical cash become worthless and you won't be able to use it? You won't even be able to use it amongst each other.
 
Mats: Yeah, no. You—you can then go to the bank and get—get rid of them and then have that cash sent into your account instead.
 
Charlie: Right.
 
Mats: That—that happens with all money. They always change so these ones are the new—are the latest ones—
 
Charlie: Right.
 
Mats: Or that there were other type of paper money or cash and when they change, they say that okay now we're going to go from—from this 100 Krona bill to this one. Then you have some say one year or one and a half year that you can—you can give your old money into the bank and transform them into money on your account.
 
Charlie: To convert it—to convert it.
 
Mats: Yeah to convert it. What I do, I empty all of my—my say parking money that I have placed in different cans in the house—
 
Charlie: Of course.
 
Mats: I take everything out. I have taken everything out and I used them now so I get rid of them. Otherwise you forget them and they stay there. At some point, they are worthless.
 
Charlie: So you don't even feel the need when you go out shopping or just walking everyday, you don't have any cash just in—you don't even need cash anymore. You can—
 
Mats: No, I don't have—I don't have cash at all.
 
Charlie: Wow. Wow and so with the conversion it's probably—it's probably the same thing that happened when the EU went to Euros, same thing. Whatever currency you had at the time, you were able to—you had some period of time to convert it and then today you can't use a Lira, Italian Lira anywhere or French Franc or anything.
 
Mats: Exactly, exactly and we didn't go for the Euro and that was a good thing because then you would have had lots more coins so—so and we already then felt that yeah. Of course you have the currency rates and everything like that but we didn't go into Euros so we still have our Swedish Krona. It will probably be there still but not with cash.
 
Charlie: You know when I was growing up and probably you the same, my parents would give a little bit of cash. We called it an allowance—
 
Mats: Yeah.
 
Charlie: Or even my grandparents would give me gift, a card and there would be some dollars in it whatever. Without that today, you know how do children—how do you think children are going to grow in a cashless society? I mean how do you—how would that even work? Do you think they're missing out on something?
 
Mats: No. It's the other way around so when—when the kids have birthday, they can have a card and say Happy Birthday and then it says briiiing on their phone.
 
Charlie: Okay.
 
Mats: And then they have 500 Krona so $50. Happy Birthday.
 
Charlie: So they need—so I guess the point is children need to adopt technology at a very young age to be able to receive these Krona these eKrona is the term I read.
 
Mats: And—and they do. They do. Yeah but even—you don't even need the eKrona at this moment. They are planning to try that out to see if they could introduce a central eKrona but still today we can without having cash we can pay things electronically with Swish, with credit cards, with cash cards. I mean that is linked directly to your bank account so and even kids can do that. There are also systems so that parents can control what their kids are using their cards for if they are paying to have access to the bank accounts but I mean the youngest perhaps don't have that but otherwise and that's general I think in the whole world and especially in Sweden. The kids are all the early adopters to new technology.
 
Charlie: In everything, not just cash.
 
Mats: Yeah, cash everything, games.
 
Charlie: What do you think about—do you have any real concerns about security technology or hacks, things like that? What happens if the bank gets hacked or the internet becomes unavailable or goes down? Just a few—last week we had a lot of social media platforms go down and what do you think—what would happen if—is there a concern cash as a backup maybe or is that not even a concern that people have?
 
Mats: No, well that is a concern and that has happened. Swish is down and then people are just stranded. I can't buy my—I can't pay for the dinner. I can't go on a cinema.
 
Charlie: But if I'm at a restaurant today and I'm having a meal and Swish goes down while I'm having the meal, what do you have to do? Write an IOU at that point? Do you write paper I will pay you when it comes back up again?
 
Mats: You have to do the dishes.
 
Charlie: You have to do—[Laughter] I mean there has to be some provision for that. If you're in the middle of a transaction and you can't—
 
Mats: No. I would say personally I would be—I can't do it. I have the credit card but sometimes the credit card system stops to work also.
 
Charlie: Same problem right.
 
Mats: Yeah, it's the same thing but we have—the backup could then be Swish and the credit card but if both fails at the same time, then you are—and you don't have cash.
 
Charlie: Right unless—unless they have some provision to do an offline transaction and then when it goes back online, it can then do the actual processing possibly.
 
Mats: Yeah, yeah or you run out to an ATM close by and take some cash and then pay. It doesn't happen so often but it does but in general I would say the two best things that has happened on the app market in Sweden or in general that supports your life, daily life, that's Swish and it's bank ID and the bank ID and they work together. The bank ID is the one—is your ID that can guarantee that you are the—
 
Charlie: You're the person.
 
Mats: You're the person and you use that for Swish to confirm your Swish. You use it for lots, lots of things.
 
Charlie: Is the ID a pin or is a code? How does that work when you make a transaction? Do you have to type in some type of code? Is that your ID or is it a facial thing? 
 
Mats: Yeah.
 
Charlie: How does ID work, bank ID?
 
Mats: Yeah, it is—you have it on your app. It's connected to you. You have to confirm yourself on that app with a pin code or with facial.
 
Charlie: Okay. So if I—if I were in Stockholm and I had—well first of all—well two things. I have a lot of questions actually. If I was—If I had Swish, first of all am I eligible as a nonSwedish citizen could I get Swish? 
 
Mats: Oh I don't think—you have to—you have to get it through your bank and your bank account so I don't think—
 
Charlie: If I was traveling, I could potentially get Swish if I was doing a lot of—if I was spending a significant amount of time in Sweden, if I was coming there for a month for work—
 
Mats: Yeah.
 
Charlie: Perhaps I could probably get a Swish account.
 
Mats: Yeah through—if you have a bank account in Sweden, you can go to that bank and then you can apply for—for bank ID.
 
Charlie: Okay, right but I don't need to be a Swedish citizen to get a bank ID.
 
Mats: I don't think so. I don't think so.
 
Charlie: I mean it doesn't mean—I mean if I was a tourist again if I was hiking for several months in Sweden, I would hope I—especially if you can't use cash. I need some way to—to—to buy—to pay for things.
 
Mats: Yeah but actually credit cards are good also so they work very nicely. As I said before some years ago I couldn't in some small shops I couldn't pay with credit card because the owner of the—of the shop was so angry at the banks because they charge him per transactions so he didn't want to—to allow cards. He wanted to have cash. Now it's the opposite. They want you to use the card or Swish because they don't want to have the cash in the—in the shop because that's a risk for them and it's—it's an admin thing to move that cash to the bank and deposit it. So it's—so you can go—you can travel around in Sweden without Swish but with a credit card and you can use it wherever for every small amounts also.
 
Charlie: Right and I have. I mean I've been to Stockholm several times and I've used just my credit card although I always enjoy using some of the local currency. It's always fun for me to use especially—especially the Krona because the notes are so colorful. We have very boring colors here in the US and the Swiss notes are purple and all different wonderful colors.
 
Mats: Yeah, yup.
 
Charlie: Very nice but you know it—it—it brings up another question and that is—I mean I have so many questions about this. So Swish is the big app that everybody uses but what's—what's stopping me because now in the US we have—we have something similar. We have Zelle; we have Venmo, PayPal so we—we almost have the same thing. I think the difference is that we also have cash where you cannot use cash but one thing the pandemic has done here—I'm sure everywhere in the world—is that people don't want to touch especially they say cash itself is very dirty from all the circulation that it gets but I wanted to—I wonder how—how far off in the US policy that we all have a cashless society. I don't know. We—we've been talking about cashless society and even paperless society in general for—for decades and it never—it never happened. I don't know what you need to push over the edge to finally go totally paperless or cashless. I don't know what you need. Maybe you need government backing or maybe more trust from the citizens.
 
Mats: No but it's—it is very pushed from—from the government or the—yeah the whole government I would not, not—and the whole all the political parties. It's not a debate if this should be or not but it has multiple purposes because as you say if you would like to—if you come with a big amount of money and would like to put it in the bank, they ask you where did that money come from because then you—then you would like to stop the—the—the black—how do you say?
 
Charlie: The black market.
 
Mats: The black market, the criminal money that comes from crime and so forth because—and that's—that's—so why they are blocking handling cash, big amounts of cash in banks, that is to prevent the—the criminal part of that and that's accepted in the country so people coming with cash, that's suspicious, if you have lots of cash.
 
Charlie: Well of course. I mean we have the same thing in the United States. If you deposit $10,000 or more than $10,000, they—they make you fill out forms. That's a lot of cash to deposit—
 
Mats: Yup.
 
Charlie: And for—and for all the same reasons certainly for all the same reasons—
 
Mats: Yup.
 
Charlie: But this brings up a different question and that is that many people like to pay cash. 
 
Mats: Yeah.
 
Charlie: I'm not saying it's right or wrong but they like to use cash because they don't want that trail. They want to just pay cash and so it's—while I agree with the idea of being able to track it, there are people who don't for the exact same opposite reason don't want to track it so they use cash today.
 
Mats: Yeah. Well that's trust in the government and how that—or the banks or whatever and I think we don't have that mistrust, less mistrust in Sweden so but you have that with everything. If you got to a certain store and then you have a member card in that store, you take your card and when you're paying, you're not paying with the card but everything is registered against your membership and that can be used then in multiple ways. They say that you can have then a bonus when you buy over a certain amount and so forth but it's also used to track how you buy and when you buy things. It can be used then to—to—to put what do you say? Directed marketing to certain persons depending on what they buy.
 
Charlie: So they're using AI in this like everything else.
 
Mats: Yeah, probably, probably but—but we have accepted that so it's not a big deal. You have a card for every shop that you go to and you are a member in that—in the club and then you get some—some what do you say? Discounts, you get discounts and you get—
 
Charlie: Discount. Exactly.
 
Mats: Yup but it's not—it's not a big issue. It's not a debate in Sweden about that and I think the most—the biggest debate about cashless society, that's the older—what about the older people that don't have—that can't handle the Swish and they can't handle the internet banks and so forth.
 
Charlie: So how do you—how do you work—that is a concern. That is an article that I did read about that that you're absolutely right. Older you know people who—first of all whether they're not—they're not comfortable with technology or they just can't afford the technology. I mean you need to have a monthly account, a monthly phone you know a live mobile device to do these transactions.
 
Mats: Yeah.
 
Charlie: So what do you do with those? That's—that's not a small percent of the population.
 
Mats: No but still even if you—if you look at how mobile phones are used and who are using them, it's 98% of all the citizens in Sweden almost. It's just a small on the top.
 
Charlie: So it's not that big of a number then?
 
Mats: It's not that big of a number but of course it becomes a real problem for the few percentage so that could be a concern and they try to see how they can—can manage that but then you have the kids of those older people who help them with that and make sure as we do without mother. I have three sisters and an old mother and she can't handle a mobile phone or internet bank but we handle the money for her; one of my sisters are doing that.
 
Charlie: Right, right. You know one of the issues that happened here during the pandemic and I don't know if it is unique to the United States but we had and we apparently continue to have a cash or coin shortage because people aren't for the same reason. They don't want to touch the money, you know physically touch the money and it's created quite a shortage. Articles that I've read are saying that it's actually not a coin shortage. It's a circulation shortage.
 
Mats: Yeah.
 
Charlie: It's not—you know there's no—there's no shortage of actual coins anywhere. People have—you know there's millions and millions of coins in people's houses in jars and in banks but they're not using them. They’re using credit cards so I wonder if we are—we being the United States—if we are on the same track for it to be adopted. I don't know. I don't know if we have the same complete trust in the government that you have in Sweden perhaps and maybe that would the big reason why it would never happen 100% here.
 
Mats: No. I haven't heard that we have had that problem in Sweden because cash is not the—the thing that you—you have to have because it's less and less cash around yeah so that—that—with the pandemic it didn't change. Of course people stayed home more, didn't go to shops and shop. That was an issue for the shops of course but then people were using the internet to buy things instead and using their credit cards and stuff like that.
 
Charlie: So Stockholm is obviously a very large city and very advanced city but what about—I mean I don't know. I mean I've only been to the major cities in Sweden so I don't know but perhaps and I'm only asked, are there smaller locations in Sweden that may not necessarily be as advanced as Stockholm. They don't have the infrastructure to support using Swish.
 
Mats: Yeah, yeah. You have to have good internet or mobile connections and you don't have that everywhere of course.
 
Charlie: What happens in those—in those cases? If I'm visiting some remote location, what do you do? I'm just curious.
 
Mats: Then it's credit card I would say.
 
Charlie: Oh credit card. Okay. There's always credit card of course which has been around for many—for decades of course right?
 
Mats: Yeah or not always credit card. You use your bank card which is then withdrawn directly from your account so it doesn't have to be your credit card to pay with but it's—I—I work in Berlin in Germany for a number of years and I saw a big difference there when you try to pay with your card. You couldn't say—if you were to take a commuter train, you couldn't pay with a credit card. You have to pay with Maestro which is a—that is a withdraw directly from your bank account so they didn't want to have a payment in cash, no with credit. They wanted to have it directly withdrawn so you saw the difference there with the adoption or the trust; also how they introduced the systems and so forth. That's what—it wasn't the people themself. It was the one that had the systems for how payments should be made where they felt that oh, it's a bit dangerous if you pay with credit card because then I can't—I don't know if I get the money so they didn't trust—I don't know why if they didn't trust the technology or whatever because it was a credit. You had to use a bank card so it was directly withdrawn.
 
Charlie: So if you—when you visit the US, you're not using Swish because nobody here will accept Swish. You still have to use your regular credit cards like anywhere in Europe I suppose.
 
Mats: Yeah, yeah.
 
Charlie: So Swish is—Swish is primarily or only in Sweden.
 
Mats: You have a similar system in Norway. It's not called Swish; it's called something else but it's the same principle.
 
Charlie: Can you—are you allowed—in Scandinavia as a whole, I wonder if you know Finland, Norway, Denmark, I wonder if they will eventually just allow those countries to communicate with each other using your native apps. If you're—as a Swede, you can go to Denmark and use Swish. I wonder if they'll accept it there.
 
Mats: Could be if the banks cooperate because it's a cooperation between the banks.
 
Charlie: Right. Right.
 
Mats: So and you have some banks—you have the Danish bank in Sweden; you have Swedish banks in Denmark; you have the Nordea which is co owned by Sweden and Finland so possibly that opens up that you could—that they could have the service available all through the Nordic countries but not yet I think.
 
Charlie: So what do you think if you're out shopping and you're making a purchase, what—I'm just curious. What do you think most people today in Sweden are—are using? Are they—to pay? Are they—what's their primary—what's the first app that they're going to think of? Are they going to think of using Swish first or are they going to use a credit card first? Is there—is there—has—I guess has the—has the mentality changed enough there? Actually so Swish is not a credit card. Swish is a direct deduction from your bank right?
 
Mats: Directly.
 
Charlie: So you need—so it's not—it's not extended credit to you.
 
Mats: No.
 
Charlie: If you don't have—if you have zero dollars or zero balance in your account, you cannot use Swish. It's not credit.
 
Mats: No. It's your cash, your virtual cash payment.
 
Charlie: So—so it's effectively a debit card as we call it here. It's a debit card—
 
Mats: Yeah.
 
Charlie: Which—okay. So you need to have a higher balance in your account to—to use Swish.
 
Mats: No but it's your cash. It's an alternative for—for having the cash in your pocket—
 
Charlie: Right of course. It's cash.
 
Mats: So it's yeah it's virtual cash.
 
Charlie: It's e—again back to the term I kept reading eKrona which I think is a great term. eKrona.
 
Mats: Yeah, you can say that but it's a payment. You don't—yeah, yeah. You can say eKrona. eKrona is more like a—it's a currently like but this doesn't have to do with currency of the eKrona VS Euro or dollars. This is your money that you don't have to withdraw and physically put in the hand in the shop. You can just use your app to transfer the money to the shop directly from your bank account.
 
Charlie: And you love Swish. You love it.
 
Mats: I love it and the answer is I think that it has become more and more and will become more and more normal that you use your Swish instead of your credit card. That happens more and more. That depends of course of your finance situation. Not all people run—run around with credit cards and have everything on credit so—so I think Swish will—say it's 50/50 now or perhaps more credit card but coming up more and more equal now I think.
 
Charlie: So we're talking about Swish but what makes Swish so unique? Why couldn't I not just get another debit card from another bank in Sweden? Why must I use Swish or do I need—is that a requirement? Are there—is it because there is Swish. No other banks can offer a debit card.
 
Mats: No. The good thing with Swish is that you can use it to buy to pay things in shops. You can use it to pay things on the internet. You can use it to—to—to give money to your friend directly.
 
Charlie: Like PayPal or Venmo or Zelle?
 
Mats: There is a similar thing there but this is—the credit card you have to have a machine to insert it and you don't have—if you and I go to a restaurant and I pay the whole lot and I say that okay then you can pay me later. You can contact your credit card and give it me and I—because I can't withdraw the money from your credit card.
 
Charlie: Right but I do have apps on my phone even here today. I do have apps that I can give you money at a restaurant and within a minute you'll have it in your account.
 
Mats: Yeah and that's a similar thing.
 
Charlie: Similar thing.
 
Mats: It's the same thing.
 
Charlie: Right but we still have cash. We still have physical cash. That's the difference I think.
 
Mats: Yeah and with Swish you can pay—with your apps then, can you use that in shops?
 
Charlie: Yes in fact I just this week in fact did a transaction and they wanted—they wanted money immediately and they didn't want actual cash. They didn't want to carry actual cash and they said we need it either a certified—certified check which is guaranteed by the bank or using one of these apps. I used the app and gave them the cash—gave them their transfer. He verified with the office a minute later. The money—they had the money and they were able to do their job for me so it is instantaneous as well. It's not Swish of course and maybe that's the difference. The difference is that everybody is using the same exact app because if he didn't have the same app I had, we wouldn't have been able to transfer the money whereas in Sweden everybody will have Swish it sounds like.
 
Mats: Yeah, yeah and the app can guaranteed that the payment has received to you because you can tap on it and it say that—it confirms the payment so even if you don't have Swish, I can Swish it to you—no, I think you have to be—you have to be linked to—you have to have a Swish account on your bank also to be able to receive the money.
 
Charlie: That makes sense. Right.
 
Mats: Yeah, yeah so that's the system but yeah, it's just the big banks have agreed on this and the standards and everyone that lives in Sweden or linked to one of these banks have accounts there and most of the Swedes have a Swish account and a bank ID and with that, you can transfer money to everyone and every shop also has that. Most of the shops have that so you can pay—you can pay with—with Swish. You can scan and pay directly on a queue code or whatever you call them—QR code.
 
Charlie: QR so it's very normal. It's very normal now. In fact it's probably less normal not to have a Swish account I guess.
 
Mats: It is. We—we—I play darts and we have a competition that this was three years ago I think. So we were some 10—15 guys playing darts and the one that won we should pay 100 Krona too. Of course the one—the guy who won, he didn't have Swish. He was the only one that didn't have Swish and all of the us—the others had so we were so angry with him. How are we able to pay you? So—so no. It's very unnormal that you don't have Swish.
 
Charlie: Right and again, we're still 18 months away before it becomes totally accepted or required almost I should say so that's interesting.
 
Mats: I haven't known that. I didn't know that the cash will disappear.
 
Charlie: No, that's what I read. I mean that's what I read March—again there's an exact date: March 24. I have to learn more why that particular date: March 24, 2023 seems to be the date everybody is talking about.
 
Mats: And I'll say I haven't had a discussion about that. We don't think about that because we're not using cash so it's not a big issue.
 
Charlie: So who cares at this point? Who cares? As far you're concerned, March 24 is already here 20—it's already here.
 
Mats: Yeah, yeah. I get rid of all my cash because you never know when they stop to be valid.
 
Charlie: And of course as you said earlier, there are shops that will have a sign right in the window no cash.
 
Mats: Yeah, oh yeah. That's very—restaurants, some restaurants, lunch restaurants say that, no cash. You can pay by Swish or you can pay by card.
 
Charlie: And even the street food vendors—
 
Mats: Oh absolutely.
 
Charlie: So when I come there and I never get this name right but whenever I—so next time I come to Sweden and I go to—I cannot say this word no matter how hard I try. It's Tumbarunda.
 
Mats: Tunnebrödsrulle. 
 
Charlie: That's the word yeah.
 
Mats: That's my favorite with Ragsalat.
 
Charlie: Exactly. Exactly. So say the word because I—I—it's just a wonderful street food, one of my favorites. Say the word again for me.
 
Mats: Tunnebrödsrulle.
 
Charlie: Yeah, I'll never be able to say it like that.
 
Mats: Thin bread roller.
 
Charlie: Okay. Yeah.
 
Mats: Tunn is thin. Bröds is bread and rulle is a wrapper or around. Yeah so you wrap it.
 
Charlie: Right and whoever doesn't know what that is, it's a—it's a wrap and it has—it's just filled with some many different—it's—
 
Mats: We say that what do you do with potato? Potato—
 
Charlie: Potato yeah mashed potatoes and—
 
Mats: Mashed potatoes, sausage—
 
Charlie: Shrimp salad.
 
Mats: Yup, shrimp salad, Ragsalat.
 
Charlie: Yeah.
Mats: Ketchup, mustard—
 
Charlie: Yeah, you have one of those—I have one of those and I'm good for many hours after that.
 
Mats: That's my favorite lunch. You know I work from home now and have done for one and a half year now but sometimes I go down to a petrol station because the petrol station here now are not just petrol stations. They sell everything especially Tunnebrödsrulle once—once a week.
 
Charlie: Oh it's so—it's so great. It's such a—it's so Swedish. I would love to be able to see those in New York one day, maybe someday.
 
Mats: Actually I tried to order one in Gothenburg some—must be 30 years ago. I was down in Gothenburg, that's further south down in Sweden and I ordered a Tunnebrödsrulle and he said no, you can't buy that south of Sodertaljie which is very close to where I live so it's 40 kilometers south of Stockholm city and he said that you can't buy that south of but now it is everywhere.
 
Charlie: Mats, I'm so glad to talk to you today. You've really brought up a lot of good points about Swish and I really wonder to myself if that would ever happen here in the States. I guess time will tell right but I do want to want to thank you for your—for your meeting with me. It was a great conversation, very interesting, real interesting. I did read one last thing. I did read the website for Swish is Swish.nu. That's what I found online so if you want to learn more about Swish, check out that website. That's what I found anyway and there's also a lot of good information on Wikipedia about Swish so that's another resource that I used to prepare for this interview. Mats, always a pleasure my friend. Thank you so much.
 
Mats: I feel the same about it. Thank you so much.
 
 
 
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