40% of population unaware of the digital Euro, making Ireland the third least informed country.
The digital Euro is coming but do you know anything about it? It seems that many Irish people are unaware of the new payment method.
The digital Euro has entered a two-year preparation phase which will lay the foundations for potentially issuing the digital Euro across Europe.
“Although knowledge of the digital Euro is now relatively widespread across Europe, Ireland is lagging with 40% of respondents in Ireland never having heard of it”
According to a new survey conducted by management and technology consultancy BearingPoint in seven countries across Europe, 40% of respondents in Ireland have not heard of the digital Euro, a planned digital version of physical Euro bank notes and coins.
So, whilst knowledge of the digital Euro is relatively widespread across Europe, in Ireland, further communication and education is required to ensure acceptance of the digital Euro as a supplement to cash.
Another alternative to cash
According to official communications of the European Central Bank, the digital Euro is not intended to replace cash but to complement it, which is also reflected in the survey results.
On average, around 26% of respondents expect the digital Euro to be used as a supplement to existing payment methods. Information on the digital Euro is most pronounced in Austria, with only 27% of respondents having not heard of it. High awareness in Austria could be due to the intensive political discussion on the digital Euro there.
On the other hand, 43% of respondents in France had not heard of the digital Euro. In the countries with the highest cash use, Austria and Germany, the expectation is that the digital Euro will be used less frequently than cash. In Finland, the country with the lowest cash use, the digital Euro is expected to be used more frequently than cash. Of the respondents aware of the digital Euro, across all age groups, Irish respondents are the most likely to believe that it will replace cash.
Expectations of the critical characteristics of the digital Euro are consistent across countries, these being: fast, secure, and accepted everywhere, closely followed by availability at all times. Anonymity as a characteristic was by far the least important.
Respondents said their preferred use of the digital Euro would be for online shopping, with one in two in Ireland saying they would use it there. In all countries surveyed, the digital Euro would also be used frequently in daily shopping, such as at the supermarket. The criteria of free to use and accepted everywhere 24/7 (online and offline) would encourage respondents to use the digital Euro the most. Trust in data security is seen as a more important criterion for usage than a great user experience.
Results of the survey show that the personal bank receives the highest trust for digital Euro transaction data. With an average of 4% across all countries, very few respondents would want to entrust their transaction data to technology companies such as Apple, Google, or Amazon.
“Although knowledge of the digital Euro is now relatively widespread across Europe, Ireland is lagging with 40% of respondents in Ireland never having heard of it,” explained Gillian O’Sullivan, partner and Ireland country lead at BearingPoint.
“The findings of our survey highlight that further communication and education is required in Ireland to ensure acceptance of the digital Euro as a supplement to cash. It was interesting to see 40% of respondents in Ireland selected both security and the ability of being accepted everywhere as the most important characteristics they expect from the digital Euro, with 1 in 2 respondents stating they would use it for on-line shopping.”
In Germany (71%) and Austria (79%), cash use is significantly higher than in other European countries. Respondents from Switzerland (63%), Ireland (61%), the Netherlands (57%), and France (55%) also show a relatively high level of cash use but are well behind Germany and Austria. Finland has a significantly lower cash usage pattern at 43%.
The popularity of cash is also reflected in the frequency of use. Multiple use of cash over the course of a week is highest in Austria (73%) and Germany (66%), with Ireland at 50%, while only 19% of respondents in Finland use cash several times a week. Despite the significant differences in the use of cash, the expectation of using the digital Euro is similar in all countries. Around 20% of respondents in the study (between 15% and 21% of respondents across all countries) would use the digital Euro several times a week.
“Cash is by far the most popular payment method in Europe. It is so high partly due to the fact that in uncertain times, cash is perceived as particularly familiar and secure,” said Christian Bruck, partner and Payments Expert at BearingPoint.
“Cash remains highly valued, reflected in the strong majority favouring cash in the next five to ten years. It is interesting to note that, despite the differences in today’s use of cash, an average of one in five people would use the digital Euro several times a week. This underlines the potential of the digital Euro. It seems important to the respondents that the digital Euro would be accepted everywhere, around the clock, and offered free of charge,” Bruck added.