US News series on the smart economy: How digitization is displacing cash

14:25  26 october  2020
14:25  26 october  2020 Source:   ksta.de

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The digital economy is economic activity that is based on digital technologies, including electronic commerce, economic activity of the state through the use of digital technologies, and even separate non-commercial activities with applications in information technology4 e-business, and e-commerce.

We digitize information, we digitalize processes and roles that make up the operations of a business, and we digitally transform the business and its strategy. Each one is necessary but not sufficient for the next.

Up until February 2020, many of the trends in digitization were considered a dream of the future. The concept of the smart economy, i.e. the digitized economy with practical solutions close to the consumer, was still theoretical in many aspects. It has been possible to pay cashless for years, for a long time by card, recently by smartphone, and yet many customers shied away from it.

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According to the German banking industry, the corona crisis has accelerated the already existing trend towards cashless payments. "The increase in the first half of the year is not solely due to Corona, but is part of a trend," says Matthias Hönisch, an expert in payment transactions at the Federal Association of German Volksbanks and Raiffeisenbanks. This year, the BVR is in charge of the German banking industry. “Since 2016 the option of contactless payments with the Girocard was introduced, we have observed a significant increase in cashless transactions. In the meantime, every second card payment is made contactless. ”

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Contactless payment

With contactless payment, the card is held up to a reader at the cash register and is no longer pushed into the device. No entry of the secret number (PIN) is required for small amounts. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, retailers are encouraging customers to pay this way to avoid possible transmission.

According to the information, the number of transactions with the Girocard increased by an average of around three to four percent annually from 2010 to 2015, in the following years they increased by up to 20 percent per year. In the first half of 2020, an increase of 20.7 percent was recorded.

Ingo Limburg from Euro Kartensysteme also sees room for improvement when it comes to small change. “There are still many retailers who do not offer card payment.” In his opinion, contactless payments with digital cards on smartphones will increase. "We expect a development similar to that of contactless payment with the Girocard itself."

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What is Digitization ? Digitization refers to creating a digital representation of physical objects. For instance, we scan a paper document save it as a digital Based on the customer info, the company provides an identity verification product for other companies who want to verify a person’s information.

All economic transactions that occur on the internet involve Digital economy , therefore it is the one collective term for all economic transactions. It is also known by different names such as the Web Economy or the Internet Economy .

In the supermarket and at petrol stations

According to a survey by Euro Kartensysteme among 632 smartphone owners, users are particularly frequent in grocery stores (77 percent) and at petrol stations (47 percent ) on this type of payment.

According to the retail research institute EHI, checking and credit cards accounted for the first time last year more than half of the total expenditure at the till. Stationary retail customers paid for purchases worth EUR 224.6 billion with one card. That was 50.5 percent of retail sales of 445 billion euros. For small amounts, however, according to EHI, cash was the most popular means of payment. Almost three quarters (73 percent) of the 20 billion purchases were paid in cash in 2019.

Digitization is also advancing with transfers. Around a quarter of German consumers have already used a SEPA real-time transfer in their everyday life. Another 50 percent can imagine using so-called instant payment payments in the future. This is shown by the results of the current 24th payment study by ECC Cologne, a subsidiary of the Institute for Retail Research (IFH Cologne). In cashless payment transactions,

Instant Payment is a payment method in which payment transactions in online banking from the debtor to the credit at the payee take a maximum of ten seconds.

Smart Economy in Logistics

Analogous to payment transactions, the Smart Economy issue has rapidly gained in importance, especially in logistics. “There used to be separate programs for each individual step, sometimes just Excel tables. Today all of these systems are networked, ”says Christian Berner, CEO of the tool dealer Berner Group from Cologne. The next step is now pan-European systems.

According to Berner, another smart trend in logistics is increased automation through robots. And not just for reasons of efficiency. "Logistics workers are hard to come by at many locations," says Berner.

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