The course of our local economy in 2019, but also the way we carry out our transactions as consumers and professionals, goes through a stage of radical diversification. At the heart of the discourse at this junction, is the attempt to move from cash to digital currency, with the state introducing incentives for the usage of debit, credit cards and electronic payment applications (e-Banking, mobile Banking), and to place restrictions on the maximum permissible amount of cash transactions, even below €300.
On the occasion of this topical and burning issue, we will briefly examine the European landscape on digital transactions, but also the role of the proper communication taken up by a firm such as BrilliantPR, disseminating information about new innovations, technologies and practices relating to the digital transformation of the economy, highlighting the fact that the introduction of the “new money” and the proliferation of electronic transactions is only one facet of a global change, that appears on the horizon, and which will disrupt for good, not only the way in which we carry out our monetary transactions, but also the way companies shape their business processes.
How Europe deals with electronic transactions
The rates of usage of “plastic money” versus cash, in various countries within Europe, reveal the large differences in local economies, technical infrastructure, organizational patterns, attitudes and behaviors of each population.
In 2017, 15 years after the introduction of the euro, the European Central Bank published a report which reflects the consumer behavior of Europeans in their daily transactions, in terms of means of payment. The findings of the investigation are expected in some cases, and surprise in others, as highly advanced countries, in which you would expect the plastic money to prevail, cash still remains the highest method of transactions.
Recently we had the pleasure to work together with Printec to create an informational video that gives a snapshot of payments in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in relation to the European Union (EU 27)
The landscape of trade in the wider European area
Printec, (at BrilliantPR we have the pleasure of having them as our client) implements large projects in the banking sector, providing systems, electronic trading infrastructures and a broader portfolio of products, services and technology solutions that support electronic transactions in self-service points, procedures relating to the banking services offered to the client, and also the infrastructure for the operation of card reception terminals at points of sale (POS).
The following video describes the landscape of transactions in the wider European area in relation to the Central-Eastern European Region (CEE), a region in which Printec operates.
According to Printec’s analysis, the number of POS systems corresponding to per million people on average in the 28 EU countries, amounted to 21.6 thousand, while in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, 13.3 thousand. This evidence reveals the penetration of plastic money by region, but, as we have seen above, there are wide differences from country to country. If we take into account other examples, such as Sweden, where 98% of the transactions are made electronically and cash really has become an “endangered species”, we see that we are dealing with a fragmented European landscape, with great divergence from country to country.
Game-changing emerging innovations
The usage of electronic and automated systems, and the gradual phasing out of cash, create a friendlier, easier, more direct, more transparent and, ultimately, safer trading environment, which serves the consumer, reduces underground economy and makes the professional comply with the provisions of the law. As time goes by, the economies that will resist these developments will be left with significant competitive disadvantages towards countries that have streamlined and modernized their electronic trading systems, as well as beyond transparency and legality, the introduction of advanced electronic systems enhances efficiency, expedites processes, reduces bureaucracy and thus catapults companies into a growth orbit.
Another, crucial issue, is the proliferation of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology , which, despite them being widely known to the public over the past 2-3 years, due to the rise of the value of Bitcoin and the outbreak of Bitcoin mining, we still cannot precisely predict the impact of these financial elements to the ways we make our transactions and we operate professionally. Blockchain technology will allow for professional contracts which can record the terms of the agreement in digital code and monitor whether they are observed in the various execution stages, without the necessity of legal or notary mediation.
The role of proper communication in the transition to the digital economy
New innovations, emerging technologies and the transformation of the business framework are some of the results of the turn to digital economy, which makes it more imperative than ever to communicate effectively to all directions: from technology companies and integrators to corporate customers, dissemination of information to distribution and resale networks, and to the final consumer, so that all the constituents of the economic fabric, work in coordination thanks to a new, more efficient, friendlier, more transparent and more effective transactional framework. If you agree with this outlook, we will be happy to discuss your needs of a broader communication strategy, or to help you present your new services, products or solutions.
This whole framework, which includes switching to electronic trading systems, decentralized networks of cryptocurrencies, new possibilities for establishing business contracts with blockchain technology, is not yet fully understood. At the communication level, at BrilliantPR, we work with the companies that are at the forefront of the new developments and help them to explain the advantages and the very nature of new technologies to their potential customers who do not want to stay behind in the curve.
Working with clients across geographies and time zones is not without its challenges. But we embraced those challenges and found affective ways to overcome the obstacles, and then it became achievable. You do that, and you realize that the sky’s the limit – you’re open for business and your market is global.