Fintech use surges in Europe during Covid-19 pandemic

A new report shows how social distancing is changing the way people spend and manage their money.

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The use of financial technology apps across Europe has spiked during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report from financial consultancy firm deVere Group.

Due to social distancing measures in place to contain the spread of the virus, people are having to make adjustments in how they spend and manage their money. DeVere Group found that fintech use was up 72 per cent on the continent since the start of April.

The UK ATM network Link, meanwhile, has reported that the use of cash is down 50 per cent. The exchange and handling of hard currency, it is understood, is one of the ways that Covid-19 can be transmitted from person to person. 

“The world has changed in the past few weeks,” said James Green, deVere Group’s divisional manager for Europe in a statement. “The measures we’re now all taking to help the fightback against the coronavirus are affecting the way we interact, live, work and take care of our finances.”

Green speculated that changes in people’s financial habits and behaviours during the pandemic could extend past its conclusion. The rise in home-working and with it shared online content and remote consultation services, he suggested, could catalyse the adoption of fintech as a way of cutting physical office costs.

Previously, deVere Group’s report noted, “user trepidation” was one of the biggest barriers to the uptake of new technologies, but under these circumstances being forced to use them could mean more people get used to them faster. “A new era has already begun,” Green said, “with digitisation and new technologies driving the shift.”

Rohan Banerjee is a Special Projects Writer at the New Statesman

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