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Jeff Reeves’s Strength in Numbers: PayPal vs. American Express — who will own the future of payments?

There’s a lot of talk about a global digital-payments revolution, and how it will reshape the financial industry. The example of Sweden, where a mere 2% of the value of total transactions are conducted with cash, is often heralded as a portent of things to come.

But there’s a separate school of thought that this so-called cashless craze isn’t all it’s made out to be.

For starters, Sweden’s central bank Riksbank warned a cashless economy would give a small number of financial players outsized power as they process the lion’s share of transactions. And 2015 data from the Federal Reserve showed that cash made up roughly one-third of U.S.

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