(Bloomberg) -- Bank robberies are becoming a thing of the past in cashless Denmark as the Nordic country recorded its first year of zero holdups in 2022.

Criminals have found it no longer pays off to walk into bank branches in search of a bag of crisp notes, as falling cash use in society has pushed banks to trim costs by pulling cash services from most branches. 

In 2021, Denmark only had one bank robbery, according to data from Finance Denmark, the country’s largest industry group for lenders. That’s down from 222 just two decades ago.

Danes increasingly use cards and payments apps on their smart-phones for transactions, causing cash withdrawals to drop by about three-quarters over the last six years, according to central bank data. In total, about 20 bank branches across Denmark have cash holdings, according to Finance Denmark.

As cash disappeared from banks, robbers started targeting ATMs, with such attacks peaking at 18 in the year 2016. Those have also come down to zero amid better surveillance and technical protection, the finance group said.   

--With assistance from Ott Ummelas.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.