Countries across Europe have been affected at various levels by the lockdown measures in response to the crisis caused by the Coronavirus, which is why the spending habits of European citizens are changing, reveals N26.
The fintech company, which essentially provides a digital banking service, has now shared information about the changing spending and payment habits of people in Europe, the market in which N26 operates, throughout this period of lockdown.
The recently implemented measures have triggered changes in consumer behaviour in Italy, France, Spain, Austria during the period between the pre-lock in February and the post-lock in early April.
Following WHO guidelines encouraging contactless payments to avoid potential transmission through banknotes, customers are using less and less cash, with ATM withdrawals falling to less than half of pre-lockdown levels and with 55% of Italians opting to use ever more digital forms of payment in order to abandon cash.
N26 has also observed a change in spending habits in favour of certain categories and merchants. In all countries, food chains and online retailers such as Amazon, AliExpress, food delivery, streaming and entertainment services such as Apple.com, Netflix, Google Play and Spotify have achieved a greater share of customer spending.
In particular, in Italy, food purchases accounted for 79% of expenses, second place went to streaming and entertainment services with 29% and finally food delivery services with 20%.
By contrast, mobility, travel and public transport providers have seen significant declines in transaction volumes as a result of the measures restricting travel.
In addition, N26 saw customers move primarily to e-commerce, with online transactions accounting for a larger share of customer spending in each market. In particular, e-commerce transactions saw a record increase among customers over 65 years of age. In fact, the increase in e-commerce transactions for this age group is 13% in Italy, 14% in Austria, 7% in Spain and France.
“With people doing more online transactions than they did in the past, and many customers buying from online merchants for the first time, it’s essential to be able to ensure that users have peace of mind. In Italy in particular, we have seen an increase in online transactions of up to 12% for people between 45 and 54 years of age, and if we look at the over 65 segment, the share rises to 13%. We expect this trend to continue in the future, regardless of the economic and health crisis, which is why we continue to work on our full set of features to protect online customers and ensure that they have full control of their accounts at all times, which is essential for a more senior clientele that – in many cases – has yet to become familiar with these new forms of purchase and payment,” said Andrea Isola, General Manager Italy at N26.
For this reason, the digital bank has decided to increase its security measures, implementing the possibility to activate and deactivate online and international payments at any time; to use the card with Apple Pay and Google Pay and to change the card PIN at any time.