These two countries are taking diametrically opposed positions in regards to holding currency. Both Sweden and Iceland are on the leading edge of countries embracing the use of cashless vehicles like credit cards. But Iceland’s residents are also holding on to their currency.
Since 2008, Iceland has ramped up their holding of currency. The cause is likely attributed to the financial crisis which resulted in three of Iceland’s banks defaulting and going bankrupt. Also Iceland prosecuted some of the bankers held responsibly and 26 of them were sentenced to jail time, Iceland is the only country that has prosecuted any banking officials for their involvement.
The Icelandic banks had safety nets in place to protect depositors and after the debacle, the depositors found that this guarantee was not worth the paper it was written on. This was a costly lesson and now the Icelanders are leery of trusting their banking system.
The Swedish were spared from a similar crisis and they still have faith in the financial system. Their are almost totally reliant on a cashless system. Their country is now consider to be the poster child of the success of a cashless society.