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The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation strategy of firms, which have followed the technological path to support business continuity online, in response to government restrictions. The effectiveness of these business strategies depends on the familiarity and awareness of consumers with the use of online channels and therefore with the use of digital payments necessary to conclude transactions in marketplaces. In this context, digital financial education, seen as the knowledge of financial payment instruments (instant payment, app, credit or debit card, token, etc.), is fundamental to counter the slump in demand, support consumption, and encourage more rapid recovery of the economy. Our contribution is related to the topic «Skills to develop in a post-covid-19 world».
The contribution outlines a series of recommendations aimed at elevating and strengthening the degree of Digital Financial Education of individuals who, related to an acceleration of digital transformation in firms during the pandemic, can counteract the socio-economic effects of the health emergency. Inter alia, we believe that policymakers should, first of all, formulate a digital financial education strategy at the country level. Furthermore, they must detect and monitor the level of financial education of the country over time.
They should also promote training courses, role-playing games, competitions, information, and training initiatives aimed at improving the financial education of customers, distinguishing communication channels by type of target (young people, adults, the elderly). Information campaigns can promote a conscious use of digital tools, in order to reduce the risks of fraud. Furthermore, policymakers together with financial intermediaries (incumbent banks, fintech, crowd funders, etc.) must reduce the costs of digital financial instruments, in order to facilitate their dissemination and mass use. Lastly, cooperation on a regional scale could create ideal conditions for digital transformation. These are policy actions that can stimulate economic recovery in the southern area of Europe and also in the non-EU Mediterranean Countries, characterized by a high level of digital divide compared to Northern Europe.
This article is part of the CMI/FEMISE joint “COVID-19 Med Policy Brief Series”, aimed at addressing the urgent issue of the COVID-19 socio-economic effects and impact on the EU-Mediterranean region.