For years, digitalisation has become an increasingly important part of the life for every single individual around the globe. However, it has proven even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, when governments issue orders that nearly overnight limits large gatherings of people, restricts in-person business operations, and encourage people to work from home. In response, many things moved from a physical to an online or virtual setting. For highly digitalised countries, the pandemic has proven to be an opportunity to leverage new digital services. For others, it has been a less welcome reminder of the challenges ahead.
A digital boost sweeps across Europe
In Denmark, which is already one of the most developed societies in the world, new ways of how digitalisation can help societies has emerged and delivered practical solutions to some of society's most critical challenges during the pandemic, e.g. smart wallets for COVID-19 test bookings and COVID-19 passports proving a negative COVID-19 test. The encouragement to reap the benefits of digitalisation midst a global pandemic was also fuelled in other parts of Europe, and the pandemic has proven to be a digital booster in several countries.
According to a study by the German Federal Bundesbank on payment behaviour in 2020, the share of cashless payments in Germany has almost tripled since 2017 with a considerable increase from 14 to 40 percent. A testament to how quickly consumers is willing to change their habits as they discover the benefits of digitalisation. A tendency also seen in many other semi-analogue European societies where cumbersome analogue processes have come short of consumer demands in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
While new eID regulation is a key element in speeding up this transformation, it provides banks across Europe with a golden opportunity to gain from this shift in technology, and to build on their level of trust essential to lead their customers safely on this journey. More than ever, there is a demand for secure digital solutions – delivered by trusted institutions.