Financial digitalisation in Spain in the wake of the pandemic: Assessing the impact

Financial digitalisation in Spain in the wake of the pandemic: Assessing the impact

Fecha: mayo 2022

Santiago Carbó Valverde, Pedro Cuadros Solas and Francisco Rodríguez Fernández

Financial digitalisation

SEFO, Spanish and International Economic & Financial Outlook, V. 11 N.º 3 (May 2022)

In the wake of the pandemic, we are seeing considerable changes in how Spaniards are using banking services. The pandemic has given significant impetus to the process of financial digitalisation. According to the Observatory of Financial Digitalisation (ODF in its Spanish acronym)-Funcas online survey from December 2021, 36.4% of banking service users are currently using their online banking applications daily or almost daily, compared to 17.3% before the pandemic. That said, although the digital divide in online banking has narrowed, physical branches, despite being used less, continue to play an important role for some segments of the population. Another significant change relates to Spaniards´ methods of payment. Digital payments, especially from mobile phones, have displaced cash as the main payment method. Indeed, 69.1% of purchases are being settled using non-cash instruments and just 18% of those surveyed said they continued to use cash as their main payment method. There is also growing interest in crypto-assets, although so far their usage is concentrated within the younger population. According to survey results, the typical crypto-asset investor is young (and male), studies or works, generates a high monthly income and lives in a big city. Finally, in light of the cyber-risks ushered in by online banking, Spaniards stand out for their use of basic security measures in accessing those services. Over 80% of the population follows their banks’ security recommendations when banking online, with the sole exception of installing antivirus software on their mobile phones, where the percentage is a much lower 44.2%.

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