you're reading...
Economic and Social Policies, PUBLICATIONS

The rise of e-commerce and the cashless society

Written by Mar Negreiro,

© 3DDock / Shutterstock.com

Sales in the EU still predominantly take place offline – in bricks and mortar shops – and purchases are still predominantly made with cash. However, thanks to the level of convenience they offer, both online shopping and cashless electronic payments are booming and are among the key drivers of the digital transformation taking place in our economy and society. The real-time accessibility of e commerce products and their availability 24 hours a day, together with the ease of making electronic payments, are disrupting many aspects of traditional consumer shopping behaviour, which is also increasingly driven by widespread use of mobile devices and apps.

Online sales hit a record high in 2019. At the international level, China is leading in both e-commerce transactions and mobile cashless payments. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has put countries across the world, starting with China, into extraordinary conditions, with citizens staying at home; and some sellers trying to extract the highest profit possible from the situation.

In the EU, a large majority of internet users, particularly those under the age of 45, shop online. Clothes, sports goods, travel and online content such as games, videos and music are among the most popular items.

This trend is also driven by the increase in cashless payments, which have become very popular in some countries. The numerous different cashless payment methods in existence are often highly localised. One such example, the e-wallet, is gaining particular importance, driven by the over 2 billion users it enjoyed in 2019.

On the other hand, e-commerce and the cashless society are facing a host of challenges related to cybercrime, fraud, privacy, the digital divide and pollution, among others. The coronavirus outbreak is also posing various challenges to e-commerce supply chains, many of which are based in the hardest-hit countries. However, the opportunities that e-commerce and cashless transactions afford in terms of convenience, efficiency and affordability will help them gain further ground in the years to come; their popularity among younger generations and strong EU-level policy support for digital transformation are also helping boost their prospects.


Read the complete briefing on ‘The rise of e-commerce and the cashless society‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Download the EPRS App

EPRS App on Google Play
EPRS App on App Store
What Europe Does For You
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,202 other followers

RSS Link to Members’ Research Service

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy.

For a comprehensive description of our cookie and data protection policies, please visit Terms and Conditions page.

Copyright © European Union, 2014-2019. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: